The site is located on the Eastern delta of Dammam City in Saudi Arabia, facing over the Persian Gulf. Nullah is a new luxury retail destination in Dammam which draws reference from the vernacular rammed earth construction methodologies in the region to create a more sustainable alternative to air conditioned shopping malls. The scheme utilises solar shading through a series of heavy thermal mass arches which retain the cooler night time temperatures and reduce heat gain during the day. The depth and orientation of the arches is designed to minimise direct sunlight onto the glazing and reduce the requirement for air conditioning. A natural ventilation system has been incorporated using the negative space between the stacked arch forms which create slots oriented toward the prevailing wind direction to further cool the building. The design also takes further reference from the traditional souks as the building will close during the heat of the day and inherit early morning and post sunset opening times to utilise the cooler parts of the day.
The sustainable approach to the design lead toward the creation of the stacked arch typology. This form has then been carved out creating a central ravine through the building occupied by a series of inward facing, shaded retail units. The canyon slice from the centre of the building has been sculpted outwards maximising views over the Gulf and minimising noise transmission onto the residential area behind the site.