Occupying over 10 million square feet of land north of the capital Riyadh, the King Abdullah Financial District is a pioneering financial center for Saudi Arabia as well as all of the Middle East region. FXFowle Architects was commissioned to design 4 buildings, totaling approximately 1 million square feet, for this ambitious project varying in size, scale, and design. The mix of commercial, residential, retail, institutional, and cultural components feature materials ranging from glass, metal and locally sourced stone. Throughout this massive real estate development, landscaped plazas and pathways along with enclosed skywalks encourage pedestrian traffic while an elevated monorail system connecting all neighborhoods within the district promotes the use of public transportation. A traditional “wadi”—a dry riverbed that collects water runoff—creates a continuous public green space connecting buildings while providing shelter for local flora.
Poulin + Morris developed a comprehensive environmental graphics and wayfinding sign program for public and non-public areas of all 4 buildings (Parcels 2.09, 2.14, 4.07, 4.08), guiding visitors and residents while providing consistent, dual-language (Arabic, English) information throughout. Project components include site, tower, and tenant identification; tenant directories; vehicular and pedestrian directional/wayfinding; informational for exterior and interior public, commercial, and retail spaces; as well as an overall public orientation system. Key exterior elements which bind all project components and public spaces together are directional/wayfinding, identification, and information monoliths. Poulin + Morris also developed retail sign standards for each building’s exterior retail storefronts as well as interior identification standards for future commercial tenants.
In keeping with the architectural material palettes of the buildings, glass, stainless steel, painted aluminum, and painted photopolymer were used for all sign types. The integration of graphic design with architecture was an essential element of this project, as was the selection of typography, materials, profiles, colors, and the like.
This project received a LEED Gold certification from the U. S. Green Building Council.
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King Abdullah Financial District
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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