Henning Larsen Architects is behind the plaza in King Abdullah Financial District in the capital of Saudi Arabia. It will function as an official place for receiving VIP-visitors and set the scene for for financial reports and interviews on television, with the striking sculptural white fans as an architectural feature.
The four great white fans function as shading elements as well. They filter the blinding sun and give shade to the plaza and in the lowered centre, an underground oasis with palm trees and trickling water. At this level 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.
The large white fans are made up of steel elements, which are custom made from a digital 3D model, transported to the site and welded together. Between these tension rods, a white fabric is spanned in elements, which will filter the daylight and create different patterns as one passes by. The shape of the sculpture and the fabric contribute to the organic palm leaf shape.
Like the rest of Henning Larsen Architects’ master plan for King Abdullah Financial District the plaza and the lowered oasis adapts traditional elements of the Arabic culture and architecture to modern context of the district.