Benoy unveils design for $1.8bn entertainment city in Riyadh

British architecture firm Benoy has unveiled the design for ‘Konoz’, a cutting-edge entertainment city being developed by Saudi-based Abdullah Al Othaim Investment Company in the heart of Riyadh at a total investment of SR7 billion ($1.86 billion). 


A leading shopping mall operator in the kingdom, Abdullah Al Othaim Investment Company said Konoz (Box of Jewels in Arabic) will boast an entertainment city, a luxury hotel and premium residential offering in addition to commercial, F&B and retail outlets.


The project's name, inspired by the diverse array of gemstones, embodies the visual and architectural representation of gemstones in its various zones. 


Unveiling the design concept, Benoy said it brings together old and new parts of the city in an exciting new leisure destination on Riyadh’s Golden Strip. 


Konoz bears a name inspired by a diverse array of gemstones and will embody the architectural representations of glittering treasure—both in its entirety and through visual cues employing gemstones in its various zones, it stated.


According to Benoy, the new scheme works as part of the wider ‘Vision 2030’, positioning Riyadh as a 24-hour destination to live, work, and shop. 


It includes 50,000 sq m of state-of-the-art commercial office spaces and a 20,000 sq m entertainment city aimed at supporting Riyadh’s thriving tourism and entertainment industry. 


Jamie Webb, Head of EMEA, at Benoy expressed delight at working on the design for a development that will truly transform the face of Riyadh - bringing an unparalleled mixed-use offering to the city.


"Our design concept centres around creating an attractive walkable district and neighbourhood, where people would be able to enjoy a variety of culture and leisure activities. Bringing together cues from contemporary and historic Riyadh, with four key districts reflecting the different experiences of Riyadh," he noted. 


Within each district, visitors can experience a unique approach to shopping, dining and leisure, replete with multi-levelled event spaces and the best of up-and-coming entertainment offers, stated Webb.


In addition to its commercial spaces, the ‘Konoz’ project features 15,000 sq m of green areas, parking for 5,500 vehicles, a 120,000 sq m commercial center, a world-class a luxury hotel with 250 rooms, 120 serviced residential apartments, and an additional apartment complex that includes 700 apartments, he revealed.


The project also saw Benoy partner with its sister wayfinding, landscape architecture and commercial consulting businesses as part of the scheme development. 


Pragma Consulting provided valuable input on the commercial strategy and planning to help inform the customer experience and retail plan, noted Webb. 


This involved a comprehensive primary research study undertaken with residents of Riyadh, to obtain strategic insights on fast-evolving consumer behaviours, along with a detailed evaluation of global retail and

development trends, to provide data-driven insights to optimise the design vision, he added.


Holmes Wood worked on a placemaking strategy for Konoz. Working closely with the rest of the Handley House team, they established and applied a set of principles that sought to shape the identity of the new development. 


Their strategic approach saw them identify opportunities and locations for architecture, landscape, lighting, events programming, art and digital that together would create both a quality visitor experience and commercial value for the Abdullah Al Othaim Development Authority.


Webb said Benoy's design aims to forge destinations where people want to live and spend time with their family and friends. 


"It will also align with the newly developed Riyadh Metro System as a part of wider transport-oriented development for the city," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




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