Central Park will resemble a large botanical garden.

Construction work on Airport City, a world-class mixed-use development that will take shape adjacent to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is due to commence before the end of this year, according to Chapman Taylor, a global architect and masterplanner.

The company is designing this transport-orientated urban development for SARH Airport Development and Real Estate Investment, jointly with AE Prime as a lead consultant and project manager.

Chapman Taylor says the 1.91-million-sq-m gross building area (GBA) masterplan for Airport City introduces a new mixed-use community concept to the region, creating diverse tourism and business opportunities while also providing a dynamic lifestyle and family entertainment venue that is set to become a leading destination for visitors from across Saudi Arabia and the GCC region. 

The Arena, a venue for national sporting, entertainment, and recreational events.

The Arena, a venue for national sporting, entertainment, and recreational events.

According to Chapman Taylor’s Madrid Director Jan Dijkema, the development will be directly in front of King Abdulaziz International Airport. Airport City will be a central element to the future development of the city to the north, and the site will act as a link between the city and the airport, with excellent connections to the rest of city.

“The client’s objectives are to capitalise on the wonderful strategic location, creating an elegant, modern and human-scale community. They want a memorable experience for visitors, catering for progressive tastes while providing an innovative landmark project constructed to the highest possible quality.

“A central part of the brief is to design flexibility into the development to allow for easy adaptation to social and market-led changes and to achieve the most efficient and sustainable solutions,” he says.

“Included within the masterplan are shops, leisure and entertainment functions, healthcare clinics, private residences, a financial district, an artisans’ district, a green food yard and a central artists’ district. A ‘Saudi Dreams’ centre will provide an ideal showcase for the kingdom’s culture and ambitions,” he explains.

 The city’s lifestyle centre hosts a wide range of leisure and entertainment activities including an aquarium, Central Park and The Arena, a 68,700-sq-m state-of-the-venue for national sporting, entertainment, and recreational events.

Chapman Taylor last month unveiled the designs for the 9.3-hectare Central Park, which will resemble a large botanical garden that combines elegant landscaping with culture, leisure activities for all ages, retail and dining.

According to the firm, the park sits at the heart of the Airport City masterplan, close to the business district and its hotels, serviced apartments and exhibition and conference centres.

The space will be a vibrant link between the central spine of the masterplan, the lifestyle centre, the high-speed railway station and the new airport terminal.

The 18,000 sq m of gross leasable area within the park will also include discovery, sensorial, science and children’s pavilions, as well as an arts park, a children’s park and a floating food village, says the designer.

The design for the park combines the best of modernity with local heritage, culture and history, creating lasting memories for those who visit it, according to Chapman Taylor.

Dijkema says the Airport City creates a new gateway to Jeddah and beyond at the strategically important meeting point of the airport, high-speed railway station and the motorway junction between central Jeddah and the Northern Expansion Zone.

Green spaces and water features are provided throughout the development, along with public squares, a village street, a family promenade and other beautifully landscaped areas.