Taking on the history of the site that used to be an airport, the four pavilions of the Visitor Centre designed for King Salman Park bear a physical resemblance to jet bridges and stretch across the entire plot. With its narrow shape and glazed walls, the whole building acts as a window, blurring inside and outside with breathtaking views of the park from virtually every standpoint.
If the first pillar of our design is to nurture inchoate dreams and progress, the second aims to forge conceptual bridges between the future and the past, modern and traditional, landscape and building. While the pavilions share common features like the floor construction, open terraces, and several entrances, each of them also has its own unique program and profile: the Loop Pavilion with its outdoor garden and indoor café; the Exhibition Pavilion with its exposition area, restaurant, and extensive green islands; the Business Pavilion with its administrative offices, business areas, and multipurpose room (shared with the Exhibition Pavilion); and the Education Pavilion, which includes a desert garden and the densest concentration of plants. Each piece is structurally distinct, with a unique roof shell design and cross-section that subtly echoes Islamic building typologies like the dome and the tent as well as the fairytale of Prince Hussein’s flying carpet from 1001 Arabian Nights.
Landscape integration is the third and final pillar of our design. The sculptural topography creates gentle slopes and areas of high and low elevation, coupling traditional irrigation methods with a modern approach to landscape design. The planting concept leverages the benefits of this sculpted topography, employing a passive strategy for resource optimisation in the hot climate. By intimately linking the landscape design and planting concept to the plot’s topography, we create an organic “ecosystem” or microclimate that optimises the needs of all life – plant or human – that inhabits the space.