Adel Alzahrani

Vice Dean for Quality and Development, and Assistant professor of Architecture and Urbanism Faculty of Architecture and Planning King Abdulaziz University


Dr. Alzahrani is an architect and urbanist with a diverse educational background (architecture, urban design and landscape architecture) that has allowed him to adapt to a variety of design duties, teaching roles and research situations. He obtained his Ph.D.  in  Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture + Design Research with focus on Public Spaces and Community Design from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, VA, USA.  Master of City Planning and Community Design from Boston University, MA, USA and Bachelor of Architecture from King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Bachelor project did win the first place at an international competition.


Dr. Alzahrani is an experienced architect and urbanist who has more than 14-years of global and local professional experience. His global experience started in Feb. 2007 as a full time senior architect and urban designer at ZNARCH Associates in Cambridge, MA, United States for few years. His design collaborations included projects in North Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Syria), for example, the very well-known project is Shams Central Park and Public Landscape in Abu Dhabi, UAE, one of the landmarks and one of the first green developments in the region. Another well-known urban design project is Hail Housing, Hail, Saudi Arabia, that promotes the concept of walkability and life between buildings. His architecture and urban design projects included co-housing neighborhoods, institutional buildings, and town master planning. Fortunately, he was given the opportunity of an urban design training at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) at Boston and contributed to the Boston Future Plan. Also, Adel was invited to an urban design workshop as an urban design trainer at the UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) collaborating with MOMRA (Ministry of Municipal and Urban Affairs) in the (Future Saudi Cities Program) for the small and medium cities. Dr. Alzahrani was invited by Murray Associates, based in the UK, to collaborate as an urban design and placemaking facilitator at the “Future City Place-Making” workshop. This was organized by October Higher Institute of Engineering and Technology (OHI) that took place in Cairo, Egypt, using the collaborative design ‘charrette’ model planning, reviewing, drawing and testing ideas to assess and upgrade the master plan of the Capital-Way City.

As an academician, Dr. Alzahrani first teaching experience was at the United States and had taught as faculty at Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) Boston, MA, School of Architecture for 3 years. He was also invited by faculty members at Boston University, WIT, Virginia Tech, and Harvard GSD as a guest critic as well as leading workshops on urban design process.

Adel’s focus is on the role of integration of architecture and urban design in shaping contemporary urban spaces, in an effort to make valuable contribution to the national economy and livability through the incremental development and urban transformation in a creative design process. His designs and writings emphasize the need to create meaningful and vital enhancement healthy lifestyle and welfare.