AL Hair Recreational Lakes


Nature Parks & Environmental Projects


Al Hair Lakes is the largest naturally occurring wetland habitat in the kingdom at the end of the Wadi Hanifah catchment basin, where it seeps into the desert. The recreational lakes are situation on the escarpment above. These were made possible by the relocation of a…

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Al Hair Lakes is the largest naturally occurring wetland habitat in the kingdom at the end of the Wadi Hanifah catchment basin, where it seeps into the desert. The recreational lakes are situation on the escarpment above. These were made possible by the relocation of a waste water treatment works, from central Riyadh 35km south, to the desert nearby. The Arriyadh Development Authority, proposed using the excess water produced by this facility for recreational purposes, before being returned to the Al Ha’ir lake system below. We were responsible for developing the design and master plan of the upper lakes system together with providing a layout for basic infrastructure. The lakes totalled a collective surface area of 20 ha and were to form the basis for a future resort development with recreational facilities around these. The basis of design grew out of studying the existing contours, to best place the lakes with minimal grading or construction of retention embankments. To accommodate the total surface area, the lakes were placed on different levels. Creating individual lakes increased the shore-side development possibilities.  The lakes were connected via a system of weirs, which were an opportunity to create interesting landscape features or waterfalls as a part of the lakes system. Pedestrian access to these features was also considered. Once the primary features were in place, the infrastructure framework was designed around this.

Durrat Arriyadh Housing Project


Urban Housing & Resorts


The Durrat Arriyadh Housing Project was a private development, provided several design challenges due to its scale. The central spine measured approximately 3. 5 km and the spines across 1 km in length. The environmental challenge was to provide the maximum green effect with limited…

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The Durrat Arriyadh Housing Project was a private development, provided several design challenges due to its scale. The central spine measured approximately 3. 5 km and the spines across 1 km in length. The environmental challenge was to provide the maximum green effect with limited water available. A further challenge was to reduce the large open spaces to a more intimate human scale. We used a natural wadi or dry riverbed principle to design the area, using grading and earth berms to create more intimate landscape spaces. The central area of all spines were lowered and provided with an intensive green landscape. The intensive landscape areas were then linked to drain to the lowest area of the site, where a large retention basin formed a lake. Landscape user elements, play and sport facilities and other landscape features were placed primarily in the intensive green areas. Nodes were developed in attractive features, acting as orientation landmarks together with a series of plazas, completing the combination of urban and park landscapes. The outer surrounding areas were treated sparsely and given a desert-like finish, using stones, rocks features and some ground covers. To maximise the green effect these areas were planted intensively with desert tree species with lower water requirements.