Al Talah Gardens

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King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is a newly constructed city on the western edge of Saudi Arabia, approximately two hours north of Jeddah. KAEC is undergoing unprecedented growth-the city is slated to grow to the size of Washington, D.C. from a virtually bare site. This new demand for residential housing is the result of KAEC's position as a globally competitive business destination. From its state-of-the-art deepwater port on the Red Sea shore, to an extensive network of rail and infrastructural connections, global business investment is drawing thousands of new workers and their families to the area.

Al Talah Gardens, a new 7,500 unit young family housing development, is one of the new housing zones within KAEC. With a mix of free-standing, courtyard and townhouse housing types, the developers Al Talah Gardens sought a series of concept design options that were marketable to a wide range of spatial needs and budgets.

Machado Silvetti designed a detailed housing concept package for two distinct townhouse types and three distinct courtyard types. In all, a total of over one hundred thirty units will be built encompassing 372,000 square feet.

The long, narrow townhouse utilizes an open ground floor that provides main collective living spaces with access to an enclosed rear yard and light-well at the center of the plan. Through these elements, natural light is allowed to filter into the spaces while blocking the harsh desert sun.

The wider courtyard plots provide the area to condense rooms to the front of the plot, creating space for a seemingly free-standing pavilion-style living room that is visually open on three sides to a walled rear yard.

Variation is created between similar housing types by alternating color, facade style and facade aperture elements. The exteriors have the look and feel of a contemporary design, while incorporating the climatic sensitivities to the harsh desert sun and privacy requirements.

Year: 2015
KAEC, Saudi Arabia

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