Wadi Hanifa Park Competition

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Wadi Hanifa Park Competition

Gillespies was invited to a limited international competition to develop a vision and framework for a recreational and tourism destination within a selected area of the Wadi Hanifa catchment basin. The team managed a specialist group of consultants to deliver an ecological, inclusive and culturally relevant proposal that celebrates this sensitive landscape.

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The site, which sits directly adjacent to the Diriyah Gate Development, captures rich and interwoven cultural heritage layers and links directly to the UNESCO world heritage site of Al Turaif.

The project is a major open space connector and cultural recreation opportunity that will encourage pedestrian and sustainable mobility links between the Diriyah Gate Development and the world heritage site. The landscape masterplan is thus seen as the foundation to facilitate this vision and lasting user experience.

Gillespies’ vision was to create a park that respected the cultural heritage and social frameworks yet consciously develop a series of activated anchors within the agricultural typology that promoted ‘soft’ mobility, connectivity and boutique hospitality through this unique element of the park. Further to the south, where the cultural landscape had been partly eroded by previous development, more aggressive forms of activation and recreation were planned to appeal to a younger user group and establish a stronger link to King Saud University.