Ministry of Environment Water Agriculture Riyadh, KSA
The new Ministry of Environment Water and Agriculture (MEWA) complex is a 1.2 million square foot complex of seven buildings, 3500 cars and a solar system that will generate 75% of the entire energy use of the complex of buildings. Over 5000 people will work here daily. Conceived as a tapestry of spaces and landscapes offering connections through shaded outdoor rooms, the “Viale” (walk street) and garden courts tie together the entire complex of buildings. Elevated gardens ensure that pedestrians always have access to outdoor space and views. These gardens are designed as demonstration spaces with shaded edible gardens and other outdoor spaces. Shade provided by the roof canopy with the addition of trees, ornamental planting and cross ventilation will provide a comfortable exterior climate for many parts of the year. At the ground level which will be lined with shops and other public amenities, the courts and walk street connect to the gardens below grade at the subterranean parking level where vertical circulation connects the open spaces above. Furthermore, the opening to below provides natural light, ventilation and circulation of cool earthen air. Gardens and terraces above the General Services building create an indoor/outdoor connection throughout the project connecting to the Ministries of National Water, Agriculture, Environment and Desalination. The organization of the space is intended to embrace Saudi culture but also transform the way people live, play and work – continuing age-old traditions such as generosity and hospitality, that have evolved over the millennia and are highly regarded.