King Salman Park
Gerber Architekten International GmbH
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
King Salman Park, located in the centre of Riyadh will be transformed from the existing 13.3km2 brown field of flat and exposed terrain into an undulating landscape. Comprised of low wadi valleys and high ridges to form the development of diverse microclimatic zones and multifarious landscapes.
SESL worked on providing professional consultative advice on the soil characteristics, specifications and methods for the soil construction and compost manufacturing process in accordance with the landscape design and planting palette. Trials for the soil profile blended together indigenous materials including sands, crushed native limestone and high nutrient composts to characterise a profile that could succeed despite the harsh and arid climate. We worked in close collaboration with civil engineers & designers during all stages to ensure soil designs met the design intent and can practically be manufactured using the materials available.
Temperatures in Riyadh regularly exceed 40°C and humidity is often above 80%. King Salman Park was developed to reduce thermal discomfort in the local area, and is predicted to reduce local temperature by 10°c. It will also improve air quality, biodiversity and human health, using the oasis cooling effect. KSP is also a meeting place, flush with museums and community facilities for social, professional and educational usage. These facilities include museums, sports centres golf courses and animal sanctuaries.
SESL used a mix of endemic and exotic species which were designed for wetlands, ridges and slopes, bedrock terrain and forests. Which would survive the arid climate and create a stable water economy. We planted these in a soil we designed to create a closed, stable ecosystem. This was a multifaceted design which included:
· Soil constructed of indigenous materials such as crushed limestone which allows for drainage and root growth.
· Compost, rather than fertiliser
· Recycled water, which reduces the risk of salinity
· Creating a soil food web
Using this soil design, we have transformed an arid landscape into a impressively large and sustainable body of urban greenery. KSP will be the worlds largest urban park and a huge benefit to the infrastructure and climate of Riyadh.