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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Cultural Center
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Snøhetta
  6. 2017
  7. King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture / Snøhetta

King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture / Snøhetta

  • 23:00 - 2 August, 2018
King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture / Snøhetta
King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture  / Snøhetta, Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Courtesy of Snøhetta Courtesy of Snøhetta Courtesy of Snøhetta Courtesy of Snøhetta + 29

  • Architects

  • Location

    Dhahran Saudi Arabia
  • Client

    Saudi Aramco
  • Area

    100000.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Text description provided by the architects. The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is a bold new initiative on the part of the Saudi Aramco Oil Companyto promote cultural development within the Kingdom. Following an invited architectural design competition in 2007, Snøhetta has been selected to design this prestigious cultural facility.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

Located in Dhahran, in the eastern province, the cultural center will provide for a wide range of activities servingthe local population and becoming a cultural landmark on a regional, national, and global horizon. When completed,the project will contain diverse cultural facilities, including an auditorium, cinema, library, exhibition hall, museum, and archive.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

The auditorium will seat 930 visitors and will provide for a wide range of events ranging from opera, symphony concerts, musicals, and speeches etc. Together with the smaller cinema, this will be an unrivalled venue for the performing arts in the Kingdom.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

The library will become a center for learning, containing some 200 000 books on open access, and catering for all ages and categories of users.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

The great exhibition hall will accommodate large scale travelling exhibitions, as well as providing the setting for social events, banquets, and conferences. The museum and archive facilities connect the vibrant cultural life of the center to the past and to the very roots of the society from which this center is conceived.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

On May 20, 2008, the foundation stone was laid by King Abdullah.
The Cultural Center is expected to be completedin 2017. An opening date is not yet announced.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

The architectural concept is based upon the following six concepts:
1. The Past and the FutureCulture grows out of the past, without culture no community or company can create a future. The design for the Saudi Aramco Cultural Center embraces both past and future, captured in the present. Both in terms of architectural expression and internal logic, this proposal digs down into the past and reaches up into the future.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

2. Introvert and Extrovert.The concept is both introverted and extroverted. Below grade, the museum and archive functions are grouped around the inner void, looking inwards to the truths and knowledge to be found within Saudi Aramco and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Above the grade, the composition reaches out of the ground, connecting to the world beyond.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

3. Repository and BeaconLocated below the grade, the museum and archive becomes a true repository of knowledge in protective surroundings and stored for posterity. In contrast, the Library, Children’s Exhibit, and Visitor Centre are expressed as beacons to scholars across the world.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

4. Diversity and Unity. This design takes the form of a complex composition, consisting of a numberof individual and discrete components. Balance and harmony is created through interdependence. Each component is fashioned as a unique and tailor-made entity, conforming to and expressive of its own individual needs and requirements.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

5. Teamwork. Not one component can be removed. All are interdependent and rely upon each other. The resulting composition is an expression of teamwork. Each part can be endlessly adjusted to suit the individual and speci c needs. This form for exibility is not general or universal, but speci c and individual.

Courtesy of Snøhetta
Courtesy of Snøhetta

6. Energy. The balance and harmony of the composition is not static, but dynamic, expressive of the teamwork, and above all of the energy to be found in the people that comprise Saudi Aramco and Saudi Arabia. Evoking wonder and bearing memory of the steadfast endurance and hard labor under severe conditions in the pioneer striking of oil.

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Cite: "King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture / Snøhetta" 02 Aug 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/898775/king-abdulaziz-centre-for-world-culture-snohetta/> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of Snøhetta

阿卜杜勒阿齐兹国王世界文化中心 / Snøhetta