This 18,000-square-foot private residence for a member of the Saudi royal family represents one of Gabellini Sheppard Associates’ most comprehensive residential projects to date, and a contemporary lifestyle concept that is atypical in Saudi residences. In addition to serving as design architect, Gabellini Sheppard Associates also selected all the furniture and fixtures for the interior.
An existing house structure on-site was gutted to the slabs and columns, and a third story was added to the top, as well as new staff quarters excavated beneath the outdoor courtyard. Perforated, sliding aluminum screens, inspired by traditional Islamic design, shade the interior from the harsh desert sun and impart a dynamic appearance to the limestone facade.
Inside, the ground-floor, semi-public entertaining areas are defined by freestanding “wood box” walls and sliding metal mesh screens and translucent glass partitions, which impart a feeling of open, flexible space that also preserves the privacy that is important in traditional Muslim society. Within this spacious environment, modern furnishings and ambient and theatrical lighting provide a uniquely contemporary backdrop for this young royal family.