French Architects Willing to Contribute in Saudi’s Development Program

French architects are positioning themselves as pivotal contributors to Saudi Arabia’s grand transformation under Vision 2030, an ambitious national strategy.

French Architects for Export (AFEX), an organization that promotes French architectural prowess globally, has expressed a keen interest in being part of Saudi Arabia’s extensive development program​.

A recent gathering of architects from 30 French firms in Riyadh, facilitated by AFEX and Business France, symbolizes a proactive step towards realizing the Saudi Vision 2030. The French delegation, including firms like Rougerie+Tanagram and Maison Edouard Francois, engaged in discussions on topics such as sustainability and smart urban planning​.

At the core of the French-Saudi strategic partnership lies the Vision 2030 initiative, Saudi Arabia’s blueprint for future development. This initiative is set to revolutionize urban planning and infrastructure, with a particular emphasis on creating vibrant, sustainable communities. The Vision encompasses a series of “giga projects,” which are massive in scale and ambition, many of which have showcased at events like the Cityscape conference in Riyadh​.

A Portfolio of Giga Projects

Saudi Arabia has launched 14 giga projects as part of Vision 2030, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. These projects include Neom, a mega-city that will include regions like The Line, and Oxagon, a port city. Other projects like Roshn aim to enhance home ownership rates, while the Red Sea Project focuses on boosting tourism through resort development. The Diriyah project aims to transform a historic site into a cultural hub, and the King Salman Park in Riyadh is set to become the world’s largest urban park​.

French Contribution to Saudi Mega-Projects

French architects are offering their expertise to support these transformative projects. They bring a wealth of experience in creating technology-driven retail experiences, residential units, office spaces, and in the realms of entertainment and healthcare​. Their expertise in heritage preservation is particularly relevant to projects like Diriyah, which integrates cultural heritage with modern urban planning. French involvement in Saudi projects is not just about contributing to the construction but also in fostering a spirit of collaborative growth and educational exchange, as evidenced by the intention to bring Saudi architect interns to work in French agencies​.

Collaborative Efforts for a Sustainable Future

The synergy between French architects and Saudi development goals underscores a shared commitment to sustainable urban development. The discussions during the recent symposium in Riyadh extended beyond mere construction and embraced themes like community engagement, innovation, and the balance between tradition and modernity​.

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