The “New Jeddah” Master Plan by Davis Brody Bond Aedas


All images and information courtesy of Davis Brody Bond Aedas. Copyright by desMena.

The New Jeddah Master Plan, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia designed by Davis Brody Bond Aedas, Aedas Dubai and Zuhair Fayez Partnership for Jeddah Holding Company for Development.

The “New Jeddah”

The “New Jeddah”-a mixed use business, commercial, and residential destination-will attract top tier businesses and residents to an iconic, sustainable, eco-friendly oasis, setting the bar for the future identity of Jeddah. This state of the art destination will incorporate all 21st Century technologies while respecting and honoring the culture and environment of Saudi Arabia.

The comfort of the workers and residents and of the visitors is of utmost importance. This will be a self sustained master planned community-a unique experience in urban living. All the modern amenities will be available to promote commerce, relaxation and recreation, quality of living and health, and a varied cultural and entertainment experience. A new organically evolved “landscape” will be created in the desert, 50% green: water, shade, and maximization of the sea breezes to create a longer more pleasant outdoor environment for the Jeddah community. Increased walkability and expansion of outdoor use will be promoted via environmentally creative solutions to public spaces.

Parking will be shaded, located in a lower level cityscape with access to all parts of the new city. Landscaped sunlit open vertical connections between vehicular levels and pedestrian street levels above provide a sense of orientation between all parts of the city.

In the three schemes we developed, the goal was to mold a 52-acre desert site from a flat expanse of sand into a vibrant iconic destination. To create this oasis, we drew for inspiration from the culture of Saudi Arabia, the power of the wind, the spirit of geometry and religion and the necessity of shade and water.


Site Characteristics

Located in the North Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) Basa¬teen District, adjacent to Jeddah’s popular King Abdullah International Airport, the site is a 52 acre, flat expanse of sand. This strategic location petitions for an iconic design especially along the Royal Terminal Road, bordering the site on the north. Located only 80 km away from the highest sanctuary in Muslim culture, Jeddah is the main hub for ‘Hajj’ the yearly pilgrimage of thousands of Muslims to Mecca. The coast, which stretches from north to south is only a few miles to the west of the site and provides fresh sea breezes from the north west, while the desert to the east, brings the hot south-eastern winds.



Mixed use development for 25,000 people
Offices; flexible size and office types A,B,C
Residential; variety of high end mid-rise
Hotel / Service Apartments
Retail; high end retail spaces, community ameni¬ties, restaurants, etc.
Business Center
Support amenities and services
Parking and Transportation
Places of Worship; 1 mosque per 10,000 people

Construction Systems

Cast-in-place concrete

Zoning Constraints

Available plot area – 239,400 m²
50% open space requirement
Proposed FAR – 3.35
Height restrictions due to nearby airport

Square Footage

Offices 280,000 m²
Residential 300,000 m²
Hotel/Service Apartments 80,200 m²
Retail 80,000 m²
Business Center 20,000 m²
Amenities and Services 40,000 m²
Parking and Transportation 285,000 m² (10,000 cars)


Culture & Geometry

Since ancient times there has been a deep interest in forms that are considered to incorporate within their intrinsic relationships (mathematical and geometric) a universal truth.

It was believed that these geometries were derived from, or described, the basic laws of the universe and by studying or contemplating them, one could obtain an understanding of the origins of every¬thing, and in this, a sacred truth.
Furthermore it was believed that by incorporating these geometries in music, art and architecture, these works would have a harmony of proportions and a special sacred character.

The New Jeddah Master Plan will seek to embrace local climate, infrastructure and community, develop environmentally sound strategies for mixed use development, and provide a balance between environmental sensitivity and development programs.

For our New Jeddah, there was a need to find an idea that could suggest a way to mold our 52 acre desert site from a flat expanse of sand into a vibrant iconic destination. We are often offered these inspirations by the site itself; the water’s edge, a river running through it, the trees, the mountains or the valleys; all can help organize a site and help create the feeling and spirit of the place.

We looked for our inspiration in the culture of Saudi Arabia, the power of the wind, the spirit of geometry and religion, the need for shade and water, the “oasis.” These are the elements that helped us transform our site into the new Jeddah, the transformation of a desert land into a vibrant destination for the people of Jeddah and beyond.


Towers in the Park Scheme

Utilizing the maximum allowed building height offers the possibility to achieve the required program on a minimum footprint while leaving a maximum amount of open space. This basic concept was followed to create an oasis in the desert of Jeddah, a vibrant and luxurious new Jeddah, offering ultra modern, private luxury housing communities in immediate proximity of office complexes and surrounded by vibrant shopping opportunities.

Based on sacred geometric principles, a main pattern is imposed over the site guiding a harmonious layout of the various required programmatic elements on an idle site. The maximum amount of open space offers a great variety of connecting landscapes. Lush green is the overall binding element, morphing from “garden of senses” towards active urban landscaped plaza. The gardens of senses are lush park areas spread like a blanket over the northern part of the site, covering the housing communities and luxury shopping areas located inside the podiums and creating a quiet, fresh atmosphere. Water features, flowers and trees create an environment of natural sounds, fragrances, shaded ambiances and create a unique housing and shopping experience.

The urban plaza which defines the Garden and protects it from the hot winds offers a vibrant contemporary platform for exchange. Shaded and cooled with ultra modern external air-conditioning systems, hosting restaurants and shops it creates a market place of knowledge where people from the surrounding offices can mix and exchange ideas. Visitors can capitalize and nourish the vibrant creative atmosphere while shopping on the ground floor arcade and enjoying the recreational facilities.








14 comments to The “New Jeddah” Master Plan by Davis Brody Bond Aedas

  • truth

    as long as underaverage commercial companies will keep on doing architecture in the middle east, the middle east will keep its underaverage commercial prestige… aedas and theiy equals are just trying to copy intelectual architecture, but by failing in even copying they show their helplessness… how about mad bejing, big denmark, mass studies korea, moxon uk, cheungvogl hong kong… uae and the other arabic world deserve better than aedas and co,….

  • syrion

    right, this all seems to be a copy of recent designs by mad, cheungvogl, mass studies, etc.

  • Brian

    Aren’t aeadas the guys, where andy bloomberg (director or something like that) not only copied the design, but also the project’s name from Zaha Hadid (wasn’t it the “dancing towers”?)… i think, to remember that forced by court, they dropped the project’s name… and the project seemed to be dropped after this stealing act, as well?
    So, why anymore stealing, Mr. Bloomberg?!

  • Ron

    CheungVogl??? Sounds like some “self promotion” happening…. With regards to Andrew Bromberg – google him and “Dancing Towers” – a completely different project…. But pulls up an interesting article from Construction Week. Seems your facts may be the opposite. Sounds to me that it is Zaha who has to answer to this….

  • Jeremiah

    with regards to zaha hadid – the story is correct: aedas had to change the projects name.
    and: this projects reminds strongly of mad architects project in korea – so why not letting the originators design this?

  • J N

    The Legs, which is designed by Aedas and planned for Abu Dhabi.

    by Sean Cronin and Tim Wood

    The future of The Legs project in Abu Dhabi has been thrown into doubt after the client interested in using the architect’s design on the tower development admitted it was reconsidering its decision.

    Andrew Bromberg, design director, Aedas Architects, spent three months on the design for the 330m two-tower project to be built on Al Reem Island, which was submitted to the client in early December 2005.

    He was also behind the design for the US $130 million (AED484.6 million) Dancing Towers project in Abu Dhabi, which was presented to that project’s client, Capital Investment Company, last May, which will definitely go ahead as planned.

    However, the launch of a design by Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid on 13 June 2006 for another project called Dancing Bay, to be built in Business Bay for Dubai Properties, which incorporates elements of both Aedas’ Dancing Towers and The Legs projects, has left the client considering its options.

    This, despite the client, whose identity Construction Week has been asked not to reveal, admitting at a meeting with Bromberg two weeks ago that it was still extremely interested in using the design on its project, although it hinted that building on a different site was a possibility.

    Although Aedas’ Dancing Tower and The Legs are two totally separate projects, Hadid’s Dancing Tower will be a single project that incorporates both dancing towers and legs.
    And it is these similarities that are prompting the client to ask for more time.

    “There is a possibility that The Legs may not happen now,” admitted Bromberg.

    “The client that was considering doing this feels that the
    similarities are too close, and it is now not sure whether it is going to develop something that people are not going to consider original.

    “I told my client immediately, and it confirmed my fears over the design. It has to decide what it wants to do.”

    Bromberg wants to make it clear that his designs for
    both the Abu Dhabi Dancing Towers and The Legs were completed a long time ago and emailed CW files to prove the dates are genuine.

    “We were using Dancing Towers back in August 2005 and published the project numerous times under this name,” he said.

    “These files also show that The Legs was developed in October 2005 by myself and submitted to the client in December.

    “The client is very happy that I have documentation which shows that both of these projects were launched a long, long time ago and it is important from its perspective that people believe that the designs were original and fresh.”

    Bromberg added that neither he or his client is looking to point a finger at any other company or individual.

    “The client does not want us to accuse anybody. It just thinks it is important that people understand that this design came out a long time ago and is unique,” he said.

    “As for me I’m not angry, although it has been a very difficult week for me. It’s a serious issue. A pretty good client was looking at doing our job, but now there is a real danger that this will not go forward. The most important thing to me is that the client and I preserve our integrity.”

    A Zaha Hadid spokesman in London said that he was unaware of any similar designs in Abu Dhabi.

    CW tried to contact Iyad Al Saka, head of the design department at Dubai Properties, but he was unavailable for

    But Al Dabal, CEO, Dubai Properties, said: “Zaha Hadid’s design for the Dancing Towers confirms Business Bay’s role as a project that reflects Dubai’s rapidly changing future.

    “The towers incorporate avant-garde definitions of functionality and form that will not only create a distinctive landmark at Business Bay, but also symbolise a new phase in architectural standards.”

  • Man

    Truth, you speak the truth. “rabic world deserve better than aedas and co”

    I think The Arab world needs home grown Architects who should be able to do more interesting work than the corporate imitators, similar to what MAD is doing in their home country of China (maybe) .
    unfortunately the ME Clients are blinded, the ME architects are unprepared and uninspired. it is sad.

  • A minute’s success pays the failure of years.

  • Abdul Hamid

    Man, your words tell me you have never been in the Middle East – homegrown architects?? I also like some work of MAD – but their work in the Middle East is not anymore original or meaningful than these corporate firms you oppose. MAD is just a bunch of OMA offspring with the same approach to design – some is poetic…. Most is not.

  • Stephan

    i heard cheungvogl lecture (and i mean the title of that lecture ‘future out of(f) tradition’ says it all), and i really wish them to contribute their intellect to dubai/uae,as i hope for any other serious practice to progress reasonable developement in dubai, than all the commercial non-brainers (and aedas is surely on top of that list), who treat uae as their playground.

  • Marouk

    i want to see much rather foster, oma and hadid offsprings contributing to Dubai than some commercial, but uneducated and unreasonable giants like aedas shaping the future of the uae. mad, big, jds, mass studies, cheungvogl, lava, cobe, shonetta and moxon are just a few, who come to my mind…

  • Abdullah

    If you are interested in facts and not just gossip and criticizing then please read on…

    I am an actual contributor to this project, and can safely say that every person who made a comment about this project doesn’t know what they are talking about. I am a Saudi citizen, and have been raised in Jeddah all my life.
    Davis Brody Bond, although a part of Aedas, is the people who created this well thought out design by the help of two local architects, who know the local ways and traditions. I worked as a cultural consultant and helped with the design as well. I even had to live in NYC, where DBB’s office is located, for 3-4 months and have witnessed the whole creative, environmental, traffic,… etc. process. From employing environmental engineers and design research to the massing and density study’s.
    I have also googled what people are claiming that these towers are copies of mad architects’ design. and it leaves me to question if those people are blind or not. it’s not even close, and this design didn’t even reach it’s final stage as for architectural design treatment. people who understand architecture have to find out if a design was born out of a concept and/or research before criticizing and basically talking out their a$$. I for one don’t appreciate it when people mock designs without any basis.

    “Truth”: this is far from under average as compared to what UAE has. it’s just a different culture here, we don’t throw money and ask a “over average” architectural firm to make what they want. business men are much harder to please then in UAE.

    “Abdul Hamid” : if you don’t know saudi then you shouldn’t really judge, i know quite excellent homegrown architects. i even have them working in my office. if you want to come and see the work we do you are more then welcome.

    I agree that foster and OMA are amazing firms (foster is my favorite) but that doesn’t mean they are the best, what nobody mentions are all the law suites these firms go to for they “unique” designs for not considering how the local environment or culture would react to them. don’t look at a design from an architects point of view, ask the end user if they’re satisfied or not, because they are the ones who have to live/work there the most.

    on a side note… I think frank gehry sucks!!!

  • Abdul Hamid

    Abdulla-thanks for this. It allows me to clarify what I was trying to say. It was more a reflection of the amount of work in the Middle East vs the amount of available local and competent local architects. That “homegrown” architects will not replace the Internationals needed for the amount of work required. I am from Beirut and educated in the States and now working in UAE. I know many competent architects in the region including Saudis.

  • its realy fantastic design

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