Snøhetta’s King Abdulaziz Center For World Culture In Saudi Arabia

Snøhetta has revealed new images of the “King Abdulaziz Center For World Culture”, a facility currently under construction in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Tthe building broke ground in 2008, and, once complete, will offer a range of cultural facilities for local, national, and international guests. The ambitious 100,000 square meter development includes an auditorium, cinema, library, exhibition hall, museum, and archive. Snøhetta was chosen to design the cultural facility following an invited competition in 2007. Now, nearly a decade later, the complex is nearing completion. The formal aspects of the scheme are influenced by Saudi Arabia’s geology and distinctive rock formations that preserve petroleum energy. At the center of the design is a monolithic tower that soars above the complex. This landmark edifice flanks a series of smaller, pebble-like forms, which are similarly clad in an arrangement of stainless steel tubes. Internally, the 930-seat auditorium is capable of hosting opera and symphony performances, as well as musicals and lectures. The program is complemented with a smaller cinema, while the library contains around 200,000 books, catering for a range of audiences. The exhibition hall accommodates large-scale traveling exhibitions, as well as providing the setting for social events, banquets, and conferences. Meanwhile, the museum and archive facilities provide visitors with regional and historical context. The “King Abdulaziz Center For World Culture” is expected to complete in spring 2017.