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Madinah Gate, a glass and light stone mixed use building with gold accents. In front, tables with white umbrellas and chairs
Madinah Gate

Vital Support to Pilgrims, Tourists, and Local Community


Knowledge Economic City KEC

Project Location

Madinah, KSA


133,000 SM


Planning, architecture, interiors

Forecasted to connect 10 million visitors a year by 2030, this mixed-use development will create a new urban center – Madinah Gate – providing vital support services to pilgrims, tourists and the local community visiting the Prophet Mosque in the city of Madinah.  The project will also act as a catalyst for further development in this holy city.

Our design introduces a new district of urban buildings that reflect the city and design of surrounding neighborhoods to establish a unique identity for Madinah and create a well-connected hub in the city. The spirit of the journey undertaken by pilgrims for centuries is preserved in the project through meaningful and sustainable translations of vernacular architecture and clustering masses which in turn provide a shaded and intimate walkable experience.

Design Principles

The city’s first transit-oriented development, this project creates a vibrant retail destination with a well-balanced mix of retail, and food and beverage options for residents, travelers, and pilgrims. The design is founded on the principles of connectivity, continuity, and arrival and sustainability. The development’s placement adjacent to the Madinah Station of the Haramain High-speed Railway network positions the development as the major hub for pilgrims arriving and departing from the city, while the site’s linear nature offers an opportunity to welcome pedestrian traffic from the venues surrounding the site.


The Journey

Madinah Gate is the culmination of a journey that has evolved through the centuries from its humble beginnings of caravans to buses and automobiles, and now to the technologically advanced highspeed rail system. The Hajj, the pilgrimage between the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, is one of the five pillars of Islam. The development was created within the context of this journey, highlighting the need for Madinah Gate, a new hub poised to both usher in and send forth travelers, pilgrims, and residents. As the first modern-day transit-oriented development in the city, Madinah Gate links the history of the journey, the Holy City’s rich culture and heritage, and its people and communities.

3 story building seen from across parking lot, Double Tree hotel rising above at center. Multiple entrances and large windows

Urban Oases

Our design for the development represents the “essence of the Madinah landscape:” elements of the region’s desert, oases, mountains and volcanic features are translated into a modern urban context as landscape features, details, materials and colors. Warm stone and local materials mirroring the aesthetic of Madinah are juxtaposed by a dynamic triangular pattern inspired by traditional craft and architecture, continuing the legacy of the region’s identity.
Along the linear site, buildings are clustered as islands, creating terraces with individual dining and entertainment offers, with a hotel forming a landmark on the boulevard.

Madinah Gate, a glass and light stone mixed use building with gold accents. In front, tables with white umbrellas and chairs
Hotel at center of mixed use development

Engaging the City

The development provides an iconic, attractive, and welcoming “front door,” integrating hospitality, retail, and transportation facilities. The project is a key element of the master plan underway for Knowledge Economic City, which will serve as an example of sustainable economic growth and diversification for other Economic Cities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council. The development will ease access to the bus terminal and train stations, while generating activity through anchors and entertainment tenants, engaging Medina’s role in the lives of travelers, pilgrims, and residents.

2 stone buildings with large windows. Left, white latticework topped with green geometric awning. Right, multicolor building
Long stone building with triangular cutouts and gold accents. White triple height shelters over entrances

Key Decisions

Our design approach takes the landscape into consideration, maximizing the sustainable options available to the site. Utilizing sun radiation simulation, building heat mapping guided placement of 2,250 square meters of PV Panels.
A comfortable microclimate was achieved through passive cooling strategies including wind channeling across the open retail corridors and cross ventilation through courtyard entrances.
Grading of the hardscape preserves storm water, enabling passive irrigation and directing overflow to the city network. Water can also be harvested during the rainy season in underground tanks.

Garden courtyard with rows of plants and trees on either side of path leading to building
Seating area in atrium upper level. Shops along sides with double height glass wall, back. Panel with triangle cutouts above


In the Media

3 story building seen from across parking lot, Double Tree hotel rising above at center. Multiple entrances and large windows

Designing the Future

Madinah Gate is featured in an interview with Design Middle East magazine and heralded as the first Saudi transit-oriented mixed-use development to connect with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's high-speed rail station and align with the master plan for the Islamic World District.

Read More


Best Mixed Use Architecture Saudi Arabia

Arabian Property Awards

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