Financial Plaza

Masterplans

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The Financial Plaza will be the heart of King Abdullah Financial District. Surrounded by the most outstanding high-rise buildings within the master plan it is designed to be a formal functioning plaza, appropriate to receive prominent guests visiting the financial district. It will serve as a backdrop for financial reports and interviews on television and its presence will be visible in various media in the financial landscape.

At the same time, the plaza will function as a space of recreation and informal meetings. To accommodate these different functions, the plaza is built in two levels. The top level, where the main entrances to the five surrounding towers are facing the plaza will be available by foot as well as by car for VIP visitors. The plaza juxtaposes the linear buildings and crisp edges with an organic design, inspired by the Saudi Arabian nature. The silhouettes and colours of the desert sand dunes have inspired the continuous curved lines and use of natural stone in the paving.

In the middle of the Financial Plaza, visitors are welcomed by a sculpturĀ¬al composition of slender curves. Four great white fans, their shapes inspired by palm leaves, rises from beneath the ground. Along the white fans, wide staircases leads down to a lowered level, an oasis of plants and water. At this level under the shading elements of the palm fans a more relaxed and informal atmosphere is created with cafes and retail at the borders. It functions as a recreational meeting space for employees of the surrounding high-rises and visitors of the King Abdullah Financial District.

Other than the ground level plaza, measuring 16.300m2, the total construction also consists of three levels of underground car park with a total of 61.300m2.

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Project facts

Project facts

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Gross floor area: 61,300 m2
Year of construction: 2014 - 2016
Type of assignment: First prize in international competition

Shading elements

Shading elements

The large fans function as an aesthetic feature as well as a shading element. The white arches are made up of a steed elements, which are custom made from a digital 3D model, transported to the site and welded together.

A secondary structure of tension rods is fixed to the arches and to the edge of the stairs. The structure stretches beyond the arch and creates an independent fan shaped element. Between these tension rods a white fabric is spanned in elements, thus creating a spatial structure, which will filter the daylight and create different patterns as one passes by.

The fabric selected for the shading element is made from 100% woven high strength expanded PTFE fibers, the 'woven' family of Gore Tenara Architectural Fabrics, combines exceptional textile aesthetic qualities, unlimited flex-life, complete immunity to UV sunlight, and exceptional flame properties.

Woven Gore Tenara Architectural Fabrics enable the design to achieve complex shapes that have strict flammability requirements, as well as provide a true 'textile' look for exterior shade structures.

The surface has a treatment, which makes it self-cleaning. It is a well-tested material also in the Saudi climate, with a guaranteed long life span.

Nature and culture

Nature and culture

As the shading elements are inspired by the palm leaves, the Financial Plaza incorporates nature at both ground level and the underground level. Between the five buildings, small gardens are laid out, talking to senses through the scent of blooming jasmines and the sound of trickling water.

The cores under the two grand stairs will be clad with mosaics. The colours and the pattern will have a reference to the traditional Arabic architecture. The two circular areas defined by the core will be differently themed. In the west end planters is integrated into the wall and the mosaics wall serves as a backdrop for the hanging plants. In the east end the theme will be water instead of plants - water runs down in a thin layer over the mosaics, is then collected in a groove and sent around in a spiral movement of the water feature, reusing the water.

The plaza at ground level as well as the lowered oasis-like space combines traditional elements from the Arabic culture with the modern context of the financial district. 

See also...

See also...

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1033 Skywalks

Location

  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia