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king fahad national library by gerber architekten
original content
jan 19, 2014
king fahad national library by gerber architekten


king fahad national library by gerber architekten
photo by christian richters / image © gerber architekten

 

 

 

saudi arabia’s ‘king fahad national library’ has re-opened its doors to the public, ten years after german practice gerber architekten won an international competition to complete the project. the design involves the refurbishment and extension of the existing building – one of the most significant cultural centers in the region. situated in riyadh, the country’s capital, the scheme is part of a larger urban scale development programed to facilitate interaction, collaboration and study.

gerber architekten king fahad national library designboom
the building is one of the most significant cultural centers in the region
photo by christian richters / image © gerber architekten

 

 

 

despite its size the structure forges a connection with the surrounding landscape, forming the centerpiece of a new urban park. importantly, the scheme respects the history and heritage of its location, echoing elements of arabian culture throughout the design. the cuboid shape of the new building surrounds and protects the existing structure, creating a new series of elevations. the library is characterized by its filigree textile façade, a cladding made up of rhomboid awnings featuring traditional middle eastern architectural patterns.

gerber architekten king fahad national library designboom
despite its size the structure forges a connection with the surrounding landscape
photo by christian richters / image © gerber architekten

 

 

 

throughout the interior, brightly lit, comfortable spaces provide a tranquil and calming atmosphere which encourages contemplation and the exchange of knowledge. the main entrance hall is located at ground level, alongside exhibition areas, a restaurant and a bookshop. at the first floor there is a separately accessible area specifically for women in which female guests can spend time without a burka. the various book depositories are seen as treasures to be found within the building’s protective exterior.

gerber architekten king fahad national library designboom
the library is characterized by its filigree textile façade
photo by christian richters / image © gerber architekten

 

 

 

the façade’s white membranes, supported by a tensile-stressed steel cable structure, serve as sunshades and reinterpret traditional patterns with more technologically advanced solutions. the envelope’s orientation and design responds directly to the local sun path, combining the required protection from the hot sun with maximum light penetration and transparency. at night the building is illuminated with changing color patterns, standing as a cultural beacon for the region and its people.

gerber architekten king fahad national library designboom
internal spaces are comfortable and brightly lit, providing a tranquil and calming atmosphere
photo by christian richters / image © gerber architekten

gerber architekten king fahad national library designboom
the cladding is made up of rhomboid awnings which feature traditional middle eastern architectural patterns
photo by christian richters / image © gerber architekten

gerber architekten king fahad national library designboom
photos by christian richters / image © gerber architekten

gerber architekten king fahad national library designboom
elements of greenery have been introduced within the scheme
photo by christian richters / image © gerber architekten

 

full article here

 

project info:

 

location: riyadh, saudi arabia
client: kingdom of saudi arabia
architect: gerber architekten
interior designer: gerber architekten
landscape architecture: gerber architekten (in cooperation with kienle planungsgesellschaft)
lightning design: gerber architekten
HVACR: DS – plan (drees & sommer group)
structural framework: bollinger & grohmann ingenieure (in cooperation with saudi consulting services)
main contractor: saudi bin laden group
competition: 1999 – 2002
design: 2004 – 2006
construction: 2008 – 2013
completion: november, 2013
area: 86,632 sqm
building costs: 330.588.000 sr
costs by qm: 3,800 sr / sqm

 

project team:
architect: gerber architekten (prof. dipl.-ing. eckhard gerber)
project architect: dipl. ing. thomas lücking
team: dipl. ing. britta alker, dipl.-ing. olaf ballerstedt, dipl. ing. carolin balkenhol, dipl. ing. hans christoph bittner, dipl. ing. markus görtz, dipl. ing. juana grunwald, dipl.-ing. thomas helms, dipl. ing. nicole juchems, dipl. ing. alexandra kranert, dipl.-ing. rené koblan, dipl.-ing. nils kummer, dipl.-ing. stefan lemke, dipl. ing. jörg schöneweis, dipl. ing. van hai nguyen
structural framework (competition): schlaich, bergermann und partner (stuttgart)
hvacr (competition): hl-technik AG (münchen)
on-site engineering: saudi consulting services (riad)
landscape architecture: gerber architekten
prof. dipl.-ing. eckhard gerber
team: dipl.-ing. nicola gerber, dipl.-ing. eduard gevers, dipl.-ing. till müller

 

manufacturers:
lighting: siteco
textile façade: sefar
tensile-stressed steel cable structure: pfeifer
façade lighting: norka
sink and flush: grohe
façade technology: EFT (european facade technology)
tube frame doors: RP – technik
elevator and escalator: kone
fittings, closing systems, revolving doors: dorma

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