Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah building codes to revive architectural heritage

The We’re All Responsible campaign featured huge 3D images projected onto the walls of Salwa Palace in the historic Al-Turaif district of Diriyah Governorate. (Received from DGDA)

JEDDAH (RAHNUMA): A new urban building code implemented for homes in Diriyah’s Wadi Hanifa (valley) aims to strengthen the historical importance of the area.

Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) announced its new urban code for the valley and its tributaries, which falls within its supervisory scope, to raise the quality of architectural designs, planning regulations, building regulations, land use, and to create a distinguished and sustainable environment for the Diriyah community.

“The goal of the urban code is to preserve the unique environment of Wadi Hanifa, ensure that it’s in line with the urban development and corresponds with the legacy of the area,” DGDA said.

A specialized team of architects have been appointed to DGDA’s design studio.

They will provide residents and developers with design counseling and instructions on proposed architectural designs that reflect the area’s identity.

Households in Najd traditionally used clay, sun-dried mud brick and wooden beams to cover their open spaces with distinctive triangular windows and roofs.

Among their decorative features, ornately carved wooden doors with geometric triangles designed on the header and alongside the edges were common features of households. DGDA’s designs derive from the area’s historic past while adopting a more modern and sustainable urban environmental approach that aims to make use of the available space.

The DGDA plans cover an area 1,800 square kilometers wide.

They will be able to exhibit the style, culture and sustainability of the traditional architectural nature of the area as its development goals come in line with the economic, tourist and large cultural projects that are under development by DGDA.

DGDA has called on beneficiaries and owners of properties in areas that fall within its supervisory scope to contact it via the design studio. The studio provides design instructions and counseling through experts and specialists, enabling beneficiaries to apply for building licenses.

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