Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Cloud 9, a dynamic new entertainment facility that is part of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) master plan, offers a range of activities for Saudi teens and pre-teens, who face a lack of options for safely socializing and being active. Gensler designers created a new building typology to accommodate physical activities and IT interactivity. Organized into three categories — activity, knowledge, and community — Cloud 9 comprises a series of plazas at varying levels, connected by a circulation system that resembles the video-game-playing experience. Wrapping around the mixed-use building’s perimeter, the journey includes interstitial spaces between the plazas, unexpected visual connections, and a sense of discovery for young people in Saudi Arabia.