Building upon the original Henning Larsen master plan, HM White collaborated with FXFOWLE to develop comprehensive public realm designs for the first four development parcels of the King Abdullah Financial District. Each site fronts on a unifying landform and meandering public landscape known as the Wadi. Streetscapes, courtyards and public plazas emerge as a sequence of inter-related spaces that feed into the Wadi’s larger landscape network.
The pedestrian oriented urban development has set the Wadi 5.5 meters below street level, symbolizing its definition as an ephemeral river¬bed oasis in a valley setting. Each site’s open space design is inspired by regional topographic and vegetative typologies. The design goal is to increase permeability and connectivity through the Wadi’s integration with the streetscape and network of public plazas and courts. Principles of environmental sustainability are instrumental to each landscape design concept. Strategies on maximizing gray and storm water harvesting and filtering have informed landscape design initiatives as well as improving human comfort levels to extend outdoor use.