King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture

King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture, Dhahran Building, Architects, Image

King Abdulaziz Library, KSA

Dhahran Architecture, Saudi Arabia – design by Snøhetta

8 Aug 2008

King Abdulaziz Library Building

Location: Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
On site: Nov 2008
Architects: Snøhetta

Images by MIR

King Abdulaziz Library Building King Abdulaziz Library Building Dhahran King Abdulaziz Library Dhahran

The King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture is a bold new initiative on the part of the Saudi Aramco Oil Company to promote cultural development within the Kingdom. Following an invited architectural design competition in 2007 Snøhetta has been selected to design this prestigious cultural facilities, including an auditorium, cinema, library, exhibition hall, museum and archive.

Located in Dhahran in the Eastern Province the King Abdulaziz Cultural Center will provide for a wide range of activities serving the local population and becoming a cultural landmark on both a regional, national and global horizon. When completed, the project will contain some 45 000m2 of diverse cultural facilities, including an auditorium, cinema, library, exhibition hall, museum and archive.

The King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture auditorium will seat 1000 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. The King Abdulaziz library will become a center of learning containing some 300 000 books on open access and catering for all ages and categories of users. 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.

On May 20th 2008 The foundation stone was laid by King Abdullah, the Cultual Center will be completed in 2011.

King Abdulaziz Library Building King Abdulaziz Library Building King Abdulaziz Library Building

The architectural concept is based upon the following six principles:

The Past and the Future
Culture 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 in to the future.

Introvert and Extrovert
The King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture 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 grade, the composition reaches out of the ground, connecting to the world beyond.

Repository and Beacon
Located below 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.

Diversity and Unity
This design takes the form of a complex composition, consisting of a number of 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.

Teamwork
No one component can be removed. All are interdependent and rely upon each other. The resulting composition is an expression of team work. Each part can be endlessly adjusted to suit the individual and specific needs. This form for flexibility is not general or universal, but specific and individual.

King Abdulaziz Library Saudi Arabia Building King Abdulaziz Library Building Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz Library Saudi Arabia

Energy
The balance and harmony of the King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture composition is not static, but dynamic, expressive of the team work 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 labour under severe conditions in the pioneer striking of oil.

King Abdulaziz Library Building images / information from Snøhetta

Snøhetta


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Saudi Arabia Architecture – Selection

King Abdullah Economic City
SOM Architects
King Abdullah Economic City
picture from architects

King Abdullah Economic City

King Abdullah Financial District Hotel
Goettsch Partners
King Abdullah Financial District Hotel
picture from architects

King Abdullah Financial District Hotel

King Abdullah International Gardens – KAIG, Riyadh
Barton Willmore
King Abdullah International Gardens
picture from TMF
King Abdullah International Gardens

Snohetta architects

Library Buildings

Comments / photos for the King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture page welcome

King Abdulaziz Library