zaha hadid architects has been selected to build the ‘urban heritage administration centre’ in diriyah, saudi arabia, following a competition initiated in 2015. the 8,780 square meter building will host the head office of the heritage museum and is part of the on-going efforts to preserve the UNESCO world heritage site and the restoration programs throughout the wadi hanifah valley. the program for the project includes a permanent exhibition gallery, library, lecture hall, educational spaces for all age groups, and also seeks to establish a scientific institution for conduction field research and documentation of the many archeological sites in diriyah.

 

 

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the center’s design took into consideration its geographical and cultural context, focusing on the interaction between man and nature defined by the oasis within the wadi hanifah valley. this concept was translated by arranging the facilities around an atrium with water in its core, as well as four carved green oases within is apparently solid façade. the building’s skin reveals a carefully perforated layer that protects the interior from solar gain while maintaining visual connections with its surroundings.

zaha hadid urban heritage administration centre saudi arabia heritage museum designboom
the design takes into consideration the geographical and cultural context

 

 

zaha hadid architect’s design for the urban heritage administration center relates to the vernacular architecture found on site, not through copying it, but by developing a deeper understanding of its traditions and compositions. the result is a contemporary interpretation that has been informed by the same natural forces that created the ancient architecture. this includes the use of rammed-earth construction with thick walls and small exterior openings that protect the structure from the heat and sun. the resulting design breathes true authenticity as it contains a balance between tradition and ever-evolving innovation.

zaha hadid urban heritage administration centre saudi arabia heritage museum designboom
the center provides the permanent headquarters for the heritage museum

zaha hadid urban heritage administration centre saudi arabia heritage museum designboom
zaha hadid architects’ urban heritage administration centre in saudi arabia

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