Construction work is likely to start this August on the Knowledge Economic City
(KEC) Hub, a 392,000-sq-m mixed-use district in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, that will form the retail, leisure and hospitality core of the KEC masterplan, according to its designer Chapman Taylor.
A leading global architect and masterplanner, Chapman Taylor said KEC Hub is being designed as a central element of one of the largest tourism projects in the top 25 visitor destinations in the world.
Located just 6km from the Prophet’s Mosque and easily accessible from the Haramain high-speed railway station, the development’s 129,000 sq m shopping and entertainment centre includes a series of glass-covered atria and streets containing a range of shops, restaurants, cafés, a cinema, family entertainment centres, a wellness clinic and a museum showcasing the history and culture of the region.
A vibrant, open-air restaurant boulevard provides a pedestrianised, family-friendly dining experience, while a 45,000 sq m landscaped park, a lake and a central civic square will provide spaces for events and relaxation and will include a cultural village, shops, restaurants and cafés, stated the top architect.
According to Chapman Taylor, it will create an exciting and dynamic urban district offering the largest and most diverse shopping, dining and entertainment venue in the globally significant pilgrimage destination.
KEC Hub also delivers a 350-key, 5-star hotel and 110 branded residences for the Hilton brand within two large towers, said the leading masterplanner.
The architecture for these is inspired by traditional mashrabiya windows, while the interior design involves a luxurious interpretation of the traditional architectural style of the region, it added.
Chapman Taylor said construction work on the KEC Hub is likely to begin in August, with most of the scheme to be ready by late 2023 and the hotel to follow by May 2024.
Once completed, the hotel will offer a 500-capacity ballroom for weddings, conferences and various events.
"State-of-the-art facilities include a meeting/conference facilities, a fitness suite, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, including a children’s swimming pool. A rooftop lounge will host the main hotel restaurant," said a company spokesman.
"The hotel and residences are connected directly to the wider mixed-use development, for which the two towers act as signature buildings and as an orientation landmark for residents and tourists coming from the railway station and airport," he stated.
"The design concept for KEC Hub was inspired by the charm and character of arabesque architecture, capturing its tones, using interplays of light and shadow and introducing intricate patterns to create a modern interpretation of the key principles of the regional vernacular," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
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