• Client:
  • Location:
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Status:
  • Design Development, 2011
  • Size:
  • 888,335 m2


The KACST masterplan sets out a vision for a state of the art research and innovation campus in Saudi Arabia. Cutting edge research has been undertaken to define a modular framework for the campus layout. Following an optimised grid, this system for research laboratories and support buildings allows maximum flexibility.

The campus layout and forward thinking design will attract researchers from around the globe through innovative use of pedestrian traffic flow and built form, which, coupled together, create localised microclimates within each building and for way-finding. Daylight, passive cooling and water use have been carefully controlled to make full use of available resources. At the core of the masterplan is the KACST Headquarter building. This centrepiece will define KACST within the city skyline. Key elements of the master plan passive design strategy are the primary reduction of heat loads and the appropriate response to issues such as dust control. The master plan shading system plays a significant role in the overall success of the environmental performance by minimising direct heat to the public domain, with the potential benefit of generating energy to offset overall campus consumption.

A night sky cooling strategy is also incorporated to allow heat built up during the day to escape during the cooler night hours. This also allows daylight to penetrate the master plan surface during the winter months. The car park plays a major role in the sustainable performance through the use of thermal coupling and thermal mass to reduce heat loads, and to filter and pre-condition air prior to entering the active environmental systems.

This integrated view of building mass, energy consumption and user interaction has created a forwardlooking campus design that is both cohesive and highly sustainable.

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Design: Toko / Development: Damien Aistrope