CallisonRTKL and Kaden reshape Saudi retail experience

Publish November 24, 2021
finance & economy

CallisonRTKL (CRTKL), a global consultancy specialised in architecture, design and technology, has unveiled its role in the design of mega-project, Riyadh Front, a new retail destination in the heart of Saudi Arabia’s capital.

The development, by Kaden Investment Company, aids the economic, cultural and societal pillars of the esteemed Saudi Vision 2030 in attracting modern, local, regional and international brands that contribute to the economy through modern trade.

Located on King Khalid International Airport road, the retail development is built on more than 180,000 sq m and includes top brands and restaurants, along with a premium movie theatre.

The first-of-its-kind outdoor retail resort integrates smart architecture and human-centered design to host innovative modular offices, stunning green spaces, and water features. This is in addition to world-class shopping, hospitality and dining experiences. Riyadh Front has been designed to engage visitors and create excitement with separate luxury, wellness, entertainment plazas as well as a central plaza.

CRTKL, the master planners and architect innovators behind the project, created an outdoor retail destination not typically seen in Saudi Arabia, due to its climate.

The development was designed to boost engagement in outdoor lifestyles and enhance overall health and wellbeing of visitors, and demonstrates the successful design principles of the current requirement for social distancing, changing the way people experience destinations in the kingdom forever.

Eng Abdullah AlFassam, CEO of Kaden investment commented: “Kaden is witnessing a transformational future for the Riyadh Front project where Kaden will enhance quality of life and economic growth in the Kingdom. Riyadh Front is becoming a highly sought-after destination for international and local tenants and brands to create an experience that meets the modern Saudi lifestyle.”

Paul Firth, Associate Principal at CallisonRTKL (CRTKL) commented: “Over the past decade, the retail sector has achieved an annual growth in excess of 10 percent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With this in mind, projects such as the Riyadh Front have been developed as a clear outcome of the country’s leadership and clear objectives outlined in its vision. Riyadh Front is a business and leisure destination and has been designed with people in mind, right through its architecture, design and technology all to elevate the human experience, combining extensive local intelligence with global cross-sector expertise.”

While contributing to the economy is of highest priority, so too is sustainability. To meet sustainability goals, the lighting design for the Grand Masjed was planned with the goal of achieving energy efficiency through a three-fold strategy - these were through the selection of efficacious lamps, a selection of efficient fittings and the overall approach to the design. In addition, a digital lighting control system was implemented to conserve energy throughout the space.

Lagoons, plazas, gardens and pavilions were designed and stretched along the central spine of the lush landscape feature to mitigate climate challenges, driving footfall from one end of the 900 metre active street to the other. In addition, the arcade running in front of the shopfronts can be closed off and air-conditioned during the summer months, but left open to enjoy the weather for the rest of the year.

Firth added: “We are proud to have been part of a mega-development that will forever transform the future of business and leisure in Riyadh, across the kingdom, and beyond, as it is directly aligned with the country’s vision to diversify its economy away from oil. The project contributes to the strengthening of the growing retail sector in the Kingdom and improves quality of life through its unique infrastructure and entertainment offerings.”

Recently opened in October 2019, Riyadh Front is the pioneer of outdoor retail destinations that will drive tourism offering a unique lifestyle destination and experiences for visitors of all ages.


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