A Royal Escape //
Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
Project A Royal Escape
Program Residential
Location Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
Completion 2006
Area 24,000m2
The unconventional concept for this royal retreat is unique among its kind. Innovative and daring, it turns the tables, upsetting the laws that govern the relationship between architecture and landscape design. In this role reversal, land wins the upper hand and architecture retreats underground acquiescing its secondary role. The insistent proposal gives unlimited reign for an immense garden from which one strolls to any part of the architecture underfoot. Peel off the top crust, and you gasp at the improbability of finding a sumptuous villa, a recreational club and state-of-the-art offices tucked underneath its luxuriant verdant skin. Pushing the envelope, the novel cave-like architecture becomes a sanctuary, hidden away from prying eyes, in this landscape game of hide-and-seek. Totally organic, not a single straight line interrupts the curvaceous nature of the interior and exterior pools, cascades and water planes. Gazebos and sinuous sand beaches add mystic spirituality to the cavernous constructions that break the rules, freeing the mind from the confines of predictability and propelling it into the fearless rationale of dreams, where landscape becomes earthen painting and architecture becomes sculptural art.