Our initial project analysis has indicated that that the climate and the culture of Saudi Arabia and specifically this location in Al Khobar has specific characteristics that when responded to in architectural terms will generate a unique approach to its architectural development. Clearly when there are situations of proximity between public and private or functionally disparate elements coming close together measures have to be taken to protect the privacy of residential functions. This is done through in part orientation of openings on the south side of the office units where openings are diverted away towards the east and west to avoid looking directly at the residential units. In turn residential areas, which have outdoor spaces whether this is on the ground or intermediate levels where these are looked down upon, or directly looked at pergolas or mashrabiya, are used to minimise overlooking. Such measures area also a way of controlling heat gains in to spaces where they are facing the sun. One of the main principles of sustainable design in architecture is to minimise the direct incidence of the sun on glazed façade elements to minimise heat gain. This works also in parallel with the desire to create privacy from neighbours looking at openings. Thus the façades are layered in shading elements that are designed appropriately to the orientation of the buildings in relation to the sun. Our approach would be to create a massing and façade articulation that becomes reminiscent of old Islamic cities where a sense of community is created between neighbours by allowing them the opportunity to interact through some of the adjacencies of such articulated spaces at higher levels in the buildings.
Credits: Selçuk Avcı – Founding Partner Ece Çakır Aidan – Design Director Koray Tokdemir – Projects Director Arda Can Buze – Techinal Director Tolgahan Akbulut – Urban Designer Nil Bıçak – Project Architect Hazal Günal – Architect Ajda Mira Hubenova – Architect Serhat Aksu – Achitect