Building upon the original Henning Larsen master plan, HM White col¬laborated with FXFOWLE to develop comprehensive public realm de¬signs for the first four development parcels of the King Abdullah Finan¬cial 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 me¬ters 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 integra¬tion with the streetscape and network of public plazas and courts. Principles of environmental sustainability are instrumental to each land¬scape 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.