The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Environs Study is a master plan and series of urban design concepts that leverages Riyadh’s investment in KAFD to establish a vibrant and connected urban public realm paired with a dynamic and sustainable mixed-use residential pattern. Coen+Partners developed an iconic, world-class urban model that celebrates the local context, environment, and culture and is a natural extension of the King Abdullah Financial District.

The master plan creates a robust and interconnected pedestrian and urban transit network that creates access to and from KAFD and to the rest of Riyadh. The street network is completely retrofitted to establish key boulevards, and a pedestrian and bike friendly district. A new mixed-use neighborhood is built up around an exposed urban wadi that collects all the grey water and runoff from the site and development and cleanses it for re-use and public amenity.

A flagship park and open space system is developed on the Spine that brings a piece of the desert into the city and offers an opportunity to view both the urban spectacle and nature in one location. The Stardune Plaza and Wadi Parkway offer visitors the best of the urban and natural worlds. A series of Stardune canopies that shade visitors from the intense sun are inspired by the form of sand dunes found in the Arabian Peninsula, and are paired with patterns found throughout Islamic culture. These iconic structures, in this extraordinary landscape offer visitors an experience that is uniquely Saudi. They offer a place to celebrate and to pray, and to be fully present in the best of both the urban and natural environments that Riyadh has to offer.


CLIENT: Arriyadh Development Authority

LOCATION: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

COLLABORATORS: Shubin+Donaldson Architects, ARUP, Guy Nordenson Engineers, RLB Saudi Arabia

SIZE (AREA): 1,200 Acres

RECOGNITION: 2017 ASLA Merit Award, Minnesota Chapter