Role: Architect & Interior Design
International Competition 2019
Previously, the practice have won International competitions such as the palimpsest of UNESCO Diocletians Palace and generated successful solutions for Buxton Crescent and the Gainsborough Hotel next to the Roman Baths in Bath – both designated UNESCO heritage centers. Being invited to participate in the Tuwaiq Palace in Riyadh competition was an opportunity to explore a thematic approach to a project identity.
In approaching the ‘spirit of the place’ our concept connects the original ideas of Frei Otto’s desert rose architecture embedded in the harsh land environment, where the architecture has adapted to be integrated with the landscape by use of light, shade, organic form with the sinuous ‘living wall’, geometrical ‘shell’ tents structures with pockets of water and greenery.
The Diplomatic Quarter position, on the ‘edge’, between the ridge of the Tuwaiq Reserve connecting the main city of Riyadh with the open landscape and connecting the site from West to East gives the opportunity for a symbolic story. The Wadi Hanifah represents a source of life and hope for future balance. A public realm for the project provides the promise of uniting the themes of the ‘golden’ desert, a modern architectural idea of an ‘oasis’, a cultural identity in the history of the Diplomatic Club, and a reimagining of a design that borrows compact ‘mud architecture’, nomadic traditions, bioclimatic technology and local heritage.
Providing luxury and serenity, a safe haven in the environment, the architecture will inspire transformation. Reflecting the Diplomatic Quarters vision for the setting to become a world destination and ‘social incubator’ Archer Humphryes goal for the hotel was to encapsulate theatrical dramatic panorama to be uplifting to the soul, whilst providing upmost privacy for guests.