Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Submitted by: Khatib & Alami
Owner: Sela Sports Co.
Lead Design Firm; Civil, Structural and MEP Engineer; Site Supervision: Khatib & Alami
General Contractor: Building Direction
To bring Saudi Arabia’s new multicultural theme park from concept to completion in just 80 days in late 2022, a team of 70 design-build contractors worked across three shifts on a 24/7 jobsite. Careful coordination and supervision ensured quality and cohesion across the project.
A variety of building techniques and materials helped speed and bolster construction as well, from prefabricated structural components and ready-to-install materials to reinforced fiberglass and galvanized steel.
“The project is distinguished by its seasonal venues, using various construction methodologies to allow for quick rejuvenation of the venue components season after season to provide new touristic and entertainment activities in Riyadh City year after year,” says Mohamad F. Itani, manager of buildings, Supervision Dept., Khatib & Alami.
Inclusion of culture and entertainment experiences from 10 countries added to construction complexities. Each one required unique materials and techniques that had to be coordinated across all trades to achieve the design intent, Itani adds.
A 1.3-million-sq-ft artificial lagoon was built in stages, with particularly strict quality control measures to ensure the structure’s water impermeability. Fast and detachable light metal construction and architectural claddings that are weather, U.V. and water-resistant were used inside the lagoon, where visitors can catch rides in a submarine propelled along hidden metal rails underwater.
A design-build strategy provided the client, consultants and contractors with the necessary flexibility to complete construction within the tight time frame, Itani says.