King Abdullah Financial District

Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen Architects is an international architecture company with strong Scandinavian roots.

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Henning Larsen Architects' masterplan unites the Arabian urban traditions with the modern metropolis giving the Saudi capital Riyadh a public open space and a characteristic skyline with a new outstanding landmark.

The heart of the district is a transformation of the Arabian wadi Hanifa transversing the area. The district will become an active and attractive urban space comprising financial institutions, residential and recreational areas, shops, restaurants, hotels, conference and sports facilities.

The district will feature something as unique as a monorail connecting the various areas of the district. All buildings and monorail stations are linked together by air-conditioned above street level enabling walking distance to all meetings in the district.

Henning Larsen Architects has designed eight of the significant buildings of the District: the Gem Building, Villas in the Sky, Crystal Towers, the Butterfly, Cascading Condos, Skywalks (4 km climatised footbridges connecting all the buildings), the central square Financial Plaza and most recently Children’s Interactive Museum. It is expected to be ready for inauguration in 2014.

All the projects attach great importance to sustainability. Thus, the overall masterplan has been designed to achieve a LEED certification just as many of the individual buildings will achieve either LEED Silver or LEED Gold certifications.

During the building phase Henning Larsen Architects act as consultants ensuring that the proposed scheme achieves a standard that will be seen as a world-class example of sustainable development.

By optimising the building proportions the outdoor temperature has been lowered by 6-8 degrees Celsius. Also the use of light facade materials maintaining humidity, vegetation and water features in the landscape help achieve the lower temperature:

  • Facades are varied in respect to orientation in order to enhance energy saving.
  • Local materials reduce energy consumption for transportation.
  • Quality materials have a long lifetime and require a minimum of maintenance.
  • Solar cells placed on roofs and integrated into the facades.
  • Transparency of facades designed to create the best indoor environment controlling heat from the sun and daylight.
  • Shading of facades to reduce cooling loads and to lower outdoor temperature.
  • Use of roofscapes to achieve sustainable objectives.
  • Skywalks that connect the buildings and an integrated public transport system help reduce the need for cars. Skywalks are energy neutral and powered by solar energy.
  • King Abdullah Financial District entails district cooling.
  • Intelligent lighting reduces energy consumption.

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Henning Larsen Architects
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