Conjugating innovation and tradition, the first prize winning proposal for the Celebration Hall of Riyadh by Studio Schiattarella, in collaboration with Tecturae, aims at adhering to the specific route adopted by the Saudi culture. The building appears to be the requirement currently expressed globally and each culture develops it in its own fashion. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The starting data for our project was both related to the type of territory: the horizontal landscape of Riyadh, the color of its earth, the lay of the land inset by the green Wadi’s and to the specifics of the plot I.e. the contiguity with the Green Fingers network and Earth Berm Park the morphology of the buildings around it (volumes, design consistency, location), the circulation routes, accesses, plot orientation and exposition of the road facing fronts.
All this information contributes to the formation of the design idea, but we intended to use as a starting point the “signs” of the Saudi cultural identity, or rather the formal elements that represent it symbolically. The beduin tent was chosen as an icon and representation of the culture of Riyadh not only for its aesthetic characteristics but for the significance and values it represents in Saudi society.
The tent is the living space par excellence, it represents protection and shelter but also an open space for sharing and welcoming. Solid in its being anchored to the ground yet it becomes light with the poles that hold up the canvas covering or in the cables that cross the air to brace the structure but most of all in the pattern of the canvas that arcs gently and creates deep and reassuring shadows that float lightly above the ground.
We decided to use the free floating shapes of the “canvas” that covers bedouin tents as territorial landmarks for our design. Two draperies soar from the ground and are apparently suspended above to protect with their curving shapes the underlying space of the ceremonial building. The simple underlying volumes are organized in a hair-comb layout along a central route that starts from the entrance hall and is the distribution axis of the spatial organization of the complex.
Architects: Studio Schiattarella, in collaboration with Tecturae Location: Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Team: Alberto Riccioni, Arianna Uzzeo, Eric Scortegagna, Paola Schiattarella, Alessia Massimi, Marco Oliveri Client: High Commission for the Development of Riyadh Lighting Design: Carla Maresca Year: 2011 Result: 1st prize