Unrestricted shopping experience
In Saudia Arabia, home to the holy shrine of Mecca, the design puts the abbayeh— the veil worn by women — on the building to create a private bazaar within a bazaar for women shoppers. This exclusive, intimate environment with its own spa, business center and dining setting is conducive to an unrestricted shopping experience.
At Al Mamlaka in the Kingdom Centre, the Middle East’s tallest building complex, a respect for Islamic culture shaped the design of the three-story retail center. While the first level is designed to appeal to young people and leisure market and the second level caters to fashion and home furnishings, the third level is reserved for women only.
The entire retail complex is organized around a large central atrium where natural light streams through clerestory windows. Ceiling screens of the perforated metal and sandblasted glass suspended from trusses transform the hostile desert sun into a friend and create super-scaled patterned surfaces befitting the grand hall. Three-story kiosks unify the design vertically while long bridges connect the floors horizontally integrating the retail podium into the larger development as they provide access to adjacent offices, banks, the conference center and hotel.
- 2003 ICSC International Design & Development Award Winner