KING ABDULLAH INTERNATIONAL GARDENS
A gift from a city to a King, from a King to his people and from the people to Mankind
The King Abdullah International Gardens have been designed to become a world-leading focus of mankind’s understanding of the process, consequence and study of Climate Change, capturing and displaying extraordinary ecotopes from history and from the present day, and presenting the choices that are available to us.
The project is set within the arid desert of the Saudi Central Region following a brief which sought to ‘create botanical gardens to rival those at Kew and Singapore’., Planned to be the largest temperature-controlled gardens in the world, the gardens in the crescent biomes covering 10 hectares, will re-create the 400 million-year-old evolution of the Earth’s plants, trees and flowers evolution.
Re-creating the 400 million-year-old history of the Earth’s vegetation
Standing on this scorched earth on a scalding summer day it is hard to imagine that this forbidding landscape could ever have been anything other than hostile, hammered by an unforgiving sun and devoid of life, shelter or refuge.
And yet, there was a time... there was a time when great rivers flowed across this land, when rain fell in abundance and trees grew, sustaining creatures now long dead. If we had been able to stand on this precise spot through time, we might have seen the extraordinary cycle of climates that have influenced this place and we would be amazed. Above all else, we would realize that we are part of a cycle, that change is inevitable and that this place will therefore not always be as it is now.
We live in an era when we are beginning to realise the influence man is having on his environment and yet we pay lip service to the warnings we are given, leaving the repairs to future generations. If anything is to arrest this decline in understanding, we must rely on education. Learning is the source and sustenance of our collective intellect and the passing of knowledge from generation to generation conditions our behaviour, our recognition of values and our understanding of the endless subtleties of the planet we inhabit.