CallisonRTKL (CRTKL), a global consultancy specialised in architecture, design and technology, says it has created an outdoor retail destination – not typically seen in Saudi Arabia due to its climate – when designing the Riyadh Front in the heart of the kingdom’s capital.
The recently opened retail development, by Kaden Investment Company, is built on a 180,000-sq-m area on King Khalid International Airport Road, and includes top brands and restaurants, along with a premium movie theatre.
The first-of-its-kind outdoor retail resort integrates smart architecture and human-centred design to host innovative modular offices, stunning green spaces and water features. This is in addition to world-class shopping, hospitality and dining experiences. Riyadh Front has been designed to engage visitors and create excitement with separate luxury, wellness, entertainment plazas as well as a central plaza, says CRTKL, the master planner and architect innovator behind the project.
The development was designed to boost engagement in outdoor lifestyles and enhance overall health and wellbeing of visitors, and demonstrates the successful design principles of the current requirement for social distancing, changing the way people experience destinations in the kingdom forever.
Eng Abdullah AlFassam, CEO of Kaden Investment, comments: “Kaden is witnessing a transformational future for the Riyadh Front, which is becoming a highly sought-after destination for international and local tenants and brands to create an experience that meets the modern Saudi lifestyle.”
Paul Firth, Associate Principal at CRTKL, says: “Over the past decade, the retail sector has achieved an annual growth in excess of 10 per cent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Riyadh Front is a business and leisure destination and has been designed with people in mind, right through its architecture, design and technology all to elevate the human experience, combining extensive local intelligence with global cross-sector expertise.”
While contributing to the economy is of the highest priority, so too is sustainability. To meet sustainability goals, the lighting design for the Grand Masjed was planned with the goal of achieving energy efficiency through a three-fold strategy by the selection of efficacious lamps and efficient fittings and the overall approach to the design. In addition, a digital lighting control system was implemented to conserve energy throughout the space.
Lagoons, plazas, gardens and pavilions were designed and stretched along the central spine of the lush landscape feature to mitigate climate challenges, driving footfall from one end of the 900-m active street to the other. In addition, the arcade running in front of the shopfronts can be closed off and air-conditioned during the summer months, but left open to enjoy the weather for the rest of the year.
Firth continued: “We are proud to have been part of a mega-development that will forever transform the future of business and leisure in Riyadh, across the kingdom, and beyond, as it is directly aligned with the country’s vision to diversify its economy away from oil. The project contributes to the strengthening of the growing retail sector and improves the quality of life through its unique infrastructure and entertainment offerings.”