In the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, honeycomb-shaped King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has been now opened to the public. A 7-minute video on it has also been released recently. A German photographer Hans Georg Esch filmed it.
The video covers the building from every angle, showcasing its splendour and beauty. This project was finished in 2017 and has been shortlisted in the category of higher education and research completed buildings at the world architecture festival 2018, which will be held on the 28 – 30 November at the RAI Amsterdam.
The campus sprawls over an area of 70,000 square meters. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the project was first unveiled in 2014. KAPSARC looks like a modular honeycomb formation that develops and multiplies like a living, organic cell.
The hexagonal prismatic honeycomb shapes join with the five buildings- an energy computer centre; an energy knowledge centre; a research library a conference centre with an exhibition hall and 300-seat auditorium; and the musalla, a place for prayer.
The unique design of the building shows the centre’s progressive philosophy. It also allows for future change and extension of the campus.
Further, the crystalline-like formation of the structure contributes to the heat of Riyadh plateau and the softening of bright sunshine. The structure elevates from the ground to the west and north of the site to let any gust of air to slip into the courtyard.
King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center is a non-profit institution for independent research into policies that help to tackle energy challenges and aids in the most effective use of global energy. The prevailing winds from the north are caught and cooled by the ‘wind-catchers’ that are integrated into the roof profiles.
Moreover, during the hottest times of the year, researchers can go from one building to another through an underground passage. Also, the solar energy generation through the solar photovoltaic cells places on the terrace of the south-facing conference centre with a capacity of 5,000MWh annually.
ZHA project director: Lars Teichmann, Charles Walker
ZHA design director: Daewha Kang
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Architectural design: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher