King Abdullah International Gardens

Our teams working internationally were appointed to design these extensive Botanical Gardens, commissioned by the City of Riyadh as a gift to the new king, for a site to the South West of Riyadh.

The project is set within the arid desert of the Saudi Central Region against a brief which sought to ‘create botanical gardens to rival those at Kew and Singapore’. The team also saw this extraordinary scheme as an opportunity to educate, entice, excite and entertain and, whilst doing so, pass on a message about who we are, where we have come from and where choices available to us may take us in the future.

Project Details

  • Planned to be the largest temperature-controlled gardens in the world
  • Features a time line explaining the planet's process of change
  • Designed to become a world-leading focus for the study of climate change
  • Displaying ecotopes from history and the present day

The Botanical Garden is proposed to be brought together as a crescent in a single, clearly understood building form, whose structure and fabric are capable of adaptation to the various environments that are proposed to be displayed within. The gardens feature a detailed time line that seeks to explain the process of change that our precious planet continues to move through, exploring, demonstrating and portraying the great paleobotanical ages that have swept across this land. 

The gardens have been designed to become a world-leading focus of mankind’s understanding of the process, consequence and study of climate change, capturing and displaying extraordinary ecotopes from history and from the present day, and presenting the choices that are available to us.