Chapman Taylor designing Knowledge Economic City Hub in Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Chapman Taylor is designing a 392,000m2 mixed-use district in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, as a central element of one of the largest tourism projects in one of the top 25 visitor destinations in the world.

Knowledge Economic City (KEC) Hub will form the retail, leisure and hospitality core of the KEC masterplan, creating an exciting and dynamic urban district offering the largest and most diverse shopping, dining and entertainment venue in the globally significant pilgrimage destination.

Located just 6km from the Prophet’s Mosque and easily accessible from the Haramain high-speed railway station, the development’s 129,000m2 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 45,000m2 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.

KEC Hub also delivers a 350-key, 5-Star hotel and 110 branded residences for the Hilton brand within two large towers. 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.

The hotel also offers 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.

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.

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.

Construction of this socially and economically significant development is expected to begin in August 2021, with most of the scheme to be completed by late 2023 and the hotel to follow by May 2024.

Andy Hudson (BA(Hons) DipArch)

Director, UK

Andy joined Chapman Taylor in 2000, became a Director in 2008 and relocated to the Shanghai studio in 2010 where he successfully contributed to the expansion and growth of the Chinese business. Returning to London in 2014, Andy sits on the UK Board, where he is actively involved with the management of the UK business.

With a wealth of international design experience and technical knowledge, he has delivered major retail and mixed-use developments in the UK, Eastern Europe and China.

Andy is also responsible for the Group’s BIM/CAD strategy and continuous improvement initiatives.


Areas of expertise:

Retail / Office / Delivery / Design Management / BIM

Kristina Madirazza

Associate Director, UK

Kristina graduated in interior design at the Istituto Europeo di Design. After completing her studies, she worked as a freelance interior designer before joining Chapman Taylor in 2005.

Kristina has extensive design experience working on residential, hospitality and retail schemes in Italy, Croatia and the Balkan region.

In 2018, Kristina transferred from our Milan studio to our London studio where she works in our interiors team on UK and international projects.

Area of Expertise:

Client Liaison / Residential / Hospitality / Office / Retail / Mixed-use

Kristina si è laureata in interior design all'Istituto Europeo di Design. Dopo aver completato i suoi studi, ha lavorato come designer di interni freelance prima di entrare nello studio Chapman Taylor Milano nel 2005.

È stata promossa ad Associate Director nel 2017 ed è responsabile per lo sviluppo del business e le relazioni con i Clienti all'interno dello studio di Milano.

Kristina ha sviluppato un'ampia esperienza progettuale lavorando per progetti residenziali, alberghieri e retail in Italia, Croazia e nella regione balcanica.

Aree di competenza:

Business development / Client Liason / Residential / Hospitality / Office / Retail / Mixed-use

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