Date palms and urban furniture to shade new pedestrian city centre in Saudi Arabia

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Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat is set to design a pedestrianised city centre in Unayazah in Saudi Arabia.

The 58 hectare site will be completely pedestrianised at ground level, with a four-lane ring road and an underground thoroughfare linking to the underground parking.

The centre will feature 70,000m2 of shopping area complete with a gold market, apartments as well as offices which all link to the city’s central mosque.

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The masterplan is inspired by the city’s heritage, using the surrounding plantations as a model by featuring date palms throughout the scheme which, according to the architects “provide the city of Unayzah with a strong identity”.

The existing buildings in the city city will remain intact according to the architects’ plan, while the facades of an existing mall complex is planned to be refitted with green walls and waterfalls.

The facades of the new buildings will be inspired by traditional architecture, allowing it to blend perfectly with the nearby buildings.

Erick van Egeraat said: “Different street widths and organically designed transitions between alleys, streets and squares create pedestrian areas with an appealing human scale”, adding that “generous amounts of date palms and urban furniture will provide necessary shading.”

The architect has been commissioned to develop the scheme beyond the concept design, expected to be implemented over the coming 10 years.

The initial stages of the ring road is already under construction.

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