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Conrad Gargett wins big at the Misk Foundation

Australian practice, Conrad Gargett, takes out the design competition for the Misk Foundation in the world’s first non-profit city.

Conrad Gargett wins big at the Misk Foundation

Conrad Gargett has been announced the winner of the design competition for the Misk Foundation Headquarters in Saudi Arabia in the world’s first non-profit city.

The Misk Foundation is headed up by Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the new city also named after him. Located in Riyadh, the 3.4sqkm Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Nonprofit City was launched in November 2021 with a vision to create a modern and sustainable community. The city will support innovation as the middle eastern nation pivots towards a more ambitious economy.

“Misk’s commitment to empowering its youthful population underpinned our interest in participating in the design competition,” says Conrad Gargett Managing Director Lawrence Toaldo.

“We are honoured to be delivering the Foundation’s headquarters, which respects the vision of its Founder, as well as the long-term strategic goals of the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Nonprofit City.”

The Misk Foundation building sits on a peninsula in the centre of the city. The design looks to encourage collaboration and creativity, seen amongst outdoor gardens that open out to the surrounding landscape and skyline. Six thousand square metres of commercial floorspace is wrapped around a landscaped courtyard and a ground floor comprising a cafe, function room and exhibition space able to be accessed by the public.

A gathering space surrounded by the Forum Garden is protected and shaded by an over-scaled ‘mashrabiya’ – a horizontal interpretation of the traditional Arabic timber screening device, providing a comfortable place to meet and exchange ideas.

The office spaces wrap around the Forum Garden, with the transparent internal courtyard façade facilitating the interaction of staff. The sculpted, protective exterior of the building references traditional Najd architecture and celebrates the sun’s strength through the ever-changing play of light and shade on its tessellated surface.

“With our focus on environmental sustainability and our ambition to achieve GBCI LEED Gold certification, the new design incorporates traditional design elements with healthy environments that promote the wellbeing of all staff and visitors. We hope that it will become a treasured part of the new city,” says Conrad Gargett director, John Flynn.

The building has been built to meet IWBI WELL Gold and LEED Gold certifications. The building is due to be completed in 2025.

Conrad Gargett

Courtesy of Doug & Wolf

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