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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia / 250,000 SF / Luxury Hotel

As part of an ambitious nationwide effort to broaden Saudi Arabia’s commercial and cultural collaboration with the international community, a massive urban expansion to the capital of Riyadh is under construction which aims to annually bring millions of visitors from around the world. Located in an important central site within the enormous urban development, this project for Paris-based boutique hotel operator Fauchon brings a cutting-edge French pop-art influence to Saudi Arabia’s traditional Najdi adobe architectural motif, and frames a warm pedestrian-only streetscape with restaurants and retail that contribute to the vibrant city life. The hotel’s architecture, taking advantage of the local vernacular massing of jagged, stepped volumes and shifting floor plans, acts as a filter to delicately balance privacy and sociality, light and shade, openness and embracing enclosure. Interior courtyards provide a social hub and bring light into all areas of the hotel, while lush landscaping, flowing water, numerous roof trellises, and perforated screen walls mitigate the power of the Riyadh sun. The atmosphere is one of luxury, but yet a playscape rich in mystery and spatial surprises within a framework of alternating light and shadow.

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