The plot is in Al Waseel suburb of Riyadh, extending 23,000 sqm, on a sloping terrain of twenty metres drop in height. It is a mix-use of private residential and hospitality development, combining a master private villa, an events hall and chalets units for short term rent. The site is located in a remote area of Riyadh where the development is perceived to provide a haven or a retreat away from the busy central area of the city. Landscaping is an essential part of the design that connects the various components together and employs sustainability in the mountain desert climate as the primal input.
The development will target modern lifestyle in the fast-changing environment of Riyadh, therefore the architecture reflects such identity. The main idea behind the concept is the relationship of the various buildings to nature, with emphasis on the strong topography of the sloping terrain. Where the events hall and private villa are cantilevering out of the ground as dominant white volumes, whereas the four chalets units and other amenities are clad in dark local stone tumbling down the slope and nestling within the terrain. Local indigenous materials were used, Riyadh stone in two tones for the external cladding and composite timber for the vertical louvres.
The scheme is split into three parts on the site; with the four chalets units on the East side and the private villa and wedding venue on the West side. All the amenities and parking spaces are located at the lowest level underground and are covered by a recreation area with sports and swimming facilities. The wedding venue which accommodates three hundred guests, is targeted for women only, so as to allow in the conservative society of Riyadh, celebrations to take place in privacy. Great consideration was given to enhance the experience of both the bridal party and the guests, with a weave of interior of materials of earthy colours and textures ranging from embossed metal sheet copper to oak wood.
Landscape design is a main feature in the scheme adapting to the morphology, the difference in levels and the flows along the curves of the terrain. Flows of water, energies and plants aligned together along the contours to achieve a rich and unique site. Connections with the top and the bottom of the hill have been studied, visually and logically, to unite the spaces and the volumes. Local species have been selected in an unique xeriscape approach, with Cor Ten materials and colorful specimens, to achieve a landscape that is unique but also reflecting the identity of the local context.
Advanced engineering systems were used such as geothermal technology that makes use of the natural topography of the site and ensures efficient and sustainable design. As well as innovative structural engineering design that explored a combination of steel and concrete systems, allowing the simplicity and strength of the architecture to be expressed with efficient structural and construction methods. Where the approach to design the cantilevered buildings consists of firstly determining the nature and configuration on the main elements followed by using both hand calculations and finite element analysis.
SUPERFUTUREDESIGN* is a sister concern of ASZarchitetti, founded by Andrea Sensoli with three partners Cecilia Morosi, Iacopo Mannelli and Andrea Rettori. The brand specializes in providing luxurious architectural designs to renowned clients in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and prides itself to be one of the best firms in the world. The name SUPERFUTUREDESIGN* depicts the company’s determination to go above and beyond – transcending consumer expectations, propelling way into the future.
Being based in the cradle of World’s Renaissance and yet so sturdy projected into the future is not a contradiction to principal architect Andrea Sensoli: past and future are both abstract concepts that are left to be interpreted. Yet, the materialistic design will remain grounded in what can be objectively defined. Highlighted by modern finishes and adorned with cultural elements, designs are a glance at what has been achieved and an insight into what we can become.