We were invited to submit a concept design for Saudi Arabia’s first ever mangrove eco-park. Mangroves are an important wetland ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and the eco-park scheme is intended to allow a way for pedestrians to view and explore these areas with minimal impact to the biodiversity of the area.
Our solution is principally a walkway that develops into two paths. One is a ramp that leads to a raised boardwalk with views of the mangroves. The other is a secondary boardwalk that provides a route into the mangrove landscape, which also connects the eco-park’s facilities, including a visitor centre, viewing platform and souvenir shop.
Pedestrian access is provided at both ends via two shading shelters, while vehicle access flows from an entry point at the right of the boulevard, exiting at the left. Our solution also includes one coach parking space and 30 car parking spaces at ground level, with canopy structures incorporating solar panels to provide shade and also enhance the green strategy of the project.
Our solution proposed that the cantilever structure is sheltered with tensile fabric canopies with a sail design reference. A combination of various shapes of fabric along the route is intended to provide interesting views and outlooks for visitors. We propose that the metallic handrails along the boardwalk also feature a distinct mangrove pattern reference.
The boardwalks will also feature various combinations of sitting furniture throughout the route, both providing comfort and interesting design features. These will include bespoke shaded seating units in a similar design to shared information panel units.
In like with the green brief of the projects all proposed materials will be lightweight and eco-friendly. These will include recycled wood-textured plastic composites, steel metal for canopy and railing structures and semi-permeable screens in the bathroom facilities.