King Salman Park

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

King Salman Park

Gillespies was invited to a limited international competition to create the largest urban park in the world. The team managed a group of specialist consultants to deliver a grand landscape-led vision for the most significant public space in the city of Riyadh.

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An ambitious project for the city and country, King Salman Park sits within a 13.4km2 development boundary on the grounds of the former Riyadh airport. The park will create a new green heart for the city, helping to change and improve the lifestyle of all Riyadh residents.

Our team of urban designers and landscape architects delivered an integrated vision for the park that sits at the centre of a new masterplan. The park will be a remarkable ecological urban landscape made of highly liveable districts, walkable streets and green spaces, innovation mobility and tech loop, residential parcels, and a host of cultural assets, including museums, botanical research facilities and viewing towers.

Gillespies’ vision was to create a new central park that grows out of the seeds of Riyadh into a flowering tree form that would inspire future generations of residents and visitors to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s natural landscapes and distinctive culture.

The park was envisioned as the source of Riyadh’s new programme of green infrastructure growing outwards into all parts of the city. At the centre of this poetic allegory is a stunning wadi landscape, a majestic symbolic reference to water as a life-giver and the catalyst for this change for Riyadh and its people.

From this source, several wadi arms divide the park into a series of gardens, each responding to the character of neighbourhoods and attractions being developed as part of the wider urban masterplan. Along the wadis, the creation of linear parks – or ‘branches’ – reach out to meet key neighbourhood access points, link the recreational assets with the planned transport hubs, and create a safe pedestrian environment for visitors. At the tip of these ‘branches’ are collections of assets and destinations – or ‘flowers’ – drawing a unique loop that will become the image of King Salman Park.