Wadi Hanifa Wetlands - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network

Wadi Hanifa Wetlands

Wadi Hanifa Wetlands

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Arabian Peninsula)
Client: Arriyadh Development Authority
Planner: Moriyama & Teshima Planners Limited / Buro Happold in joint venture
Completed: 2004-2007 ongoing
Design: 2001-ongoing
Site size: 120 km stretch

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Located in the middle of the Najd Plateau of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Wadi Hanifa (or Hanifa valley) is the longest and most important valley near Riyadh, a natural water drainage course for an area of over 4,000 square kilometres and a unique geographical feature in this dry region. Until recently, many segments of the valley had been exploited in an aggressive and environmentally destructive manner. In an effort to redress the balance between the resources of the wadi and the people living around it, the Arriyadh Development Authority has implemented a comprehensive development strategy, a programme of works that aims to restore and develop Wadi Hanifa as an environmental, recreational and tourism resource. Project works so far have included the introduction of landscaping, conservation of the natural environment, development of recreational areas for the people of Riyadh, enhancement of agricultural land in the valley, and the creation of an environmentally sensitive wastewater treatment facility that provides additional water resources for the rural and urban inhabitants of the region.

2010 Award Recipients