Al-Kindi Plaza - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network

Al-Kindi Plaza

Al-Kindi Plaza
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Arabian Peninsula)
Architect: Beeah Group Consultants / Ali Shuaibi and Abdul-Rahman Hussaini
Client: Arriyadh Development Authority
Completed: 1986
Site size: 26'000 m²

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Al-Kindi Plaza Project Brief

The developed area is a governmental and ambassadorial precinct that includes, in addition to embassies, consulates and various related structures, residential areas for officials and diplomats, as well as public space and secluded picnic areas for the citizens of Riyadh. The multi-lane, clover-leafed expressway that borders the development to the east and south is screened by intensive and concentrated landscaping. The Al-Kindi Plaza lies between two secondary roads that form an arc dividing the development in two roughly equal segments. These roads are lined with contiguous buildings designed as a linear development, interrupted by courtyards, open spaces and a maidan, part of the plaza, that faces the district's central mosque. Tertiary roads lead to five housing clusters. The jury considered Al-Kindi Plaza to be an ideal model for cities in Islamic and Arab societies for having attractively preserved the traditional link between the mosque and the other public services of the city." The landscaping of the entire project has been planned as a self-sustaining ecological system, using, where appropriate, plant materials to be found in the surrounding desert environment. The jury found the landscaping to be "a realistic and imaginative understanding of the natural and spatial organisation in hot and arid regions.

1989 Award Recipients