flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Zaha Hadid's 'white crystal' petroleum research center taking shape in the desert [slideshow]

Zaha Hadid's 'white crystal' petroleum research center taking shape in the desert [slideshow]

Construction work is under way on the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center's Research and Office Complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

By BD+C Staff | February 7, 2014
The steel framework for the 216,500-sf complex is complete, and work on the exterior is well under way. Photo: Zaha Hadid Archi

Like a crystalline form in the state of expansion, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center's Research and Office Complex (ROC) will rise from the desert in dramatic fashion, with a network of bright-white, six-sided cells combining to form an angular, shell-like façade.

The project's design architect, Zaha Hadid Architects, released construction photos of the job site in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The steel framework for the 216,500-sf complex is complete, and work on the exterior is well under way (as images from SkyscraperCity.com show below).  

The ROC will feature a series of shaded outdoor spaces, courtyards, entrances, meeting areas, indoor gardens, corridors, underground tunnels, and roof terraces. It's part of a larger petroleum research complex that also includes a residential community (191 townhouses) and leisure and sports facilities, such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gymnasiums, aerobics rooms, a bowling alley, and sports grounds, as well as a library, restaurant, and supermarket.

The design team from Zaha Hadid Architects, led by Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, and DaeWha Kang, describe their design approach for the ROC: "The center is inherently forward-looking; its architecture also looks to the future, embracing a formal language capable of continual expansions or transformation with no compromise in visual integrity." 

"The center emerges from the desert landscape as a cellular structure of crystalline forms, shifting and evolving in response to environmental conditions and functional requirements. Consistent organizational, spatial strategies drive an adaptive approach, with each component, each individual building, fitted to the purpose it serves."

"Protective from without, porous within, the structure’s strong, hard shell conceals a softer environment – sheltered courtyards, bringing natural daylight into all spaces; buffer zones creating smooth transitions from a hot, glaring exterior to a cool, filtered interior."






Related Stories

MFPRO+ New Projects | Apr 16, 2024

Marvel-designed Gowanus Green will offer 955 affordable rental units in Brooklyn

The community consists of approximately 955 units of 100% affordable housing, 28,000 sf of neighborhood service retail and community space, a site for a new public school, and a new 1.5-acre public park.

Construction Costs | Apr 16, 2024

How the new prevailing wage calculation will impact construction labor costs

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, two pivotal changes in federal construction labor dynamics are likely to exacerbate increasing construction labor costs, according to Gordian's Samuel Giffin.

Healthcare Facilities | Apr 16, 2024

Mexico’s ‘premier private academic health center’ under design

The design and construction contract for what is envisioned to be “the premier private academic health center in Mexico and Latin America” was recently awarded to The Beck Group. The TecSalud Health Sciences Campus will be located at Tec De Monterrey’s flagship healthcare facility, Zambrano Hellion Hospital, in Monterrey, Mexico.

Market Data | Apr 16, 2024

The average U.S. contractor has 8.2 months worth of construction work in the pipeline, as of March 2024

Associated Builders and Contractors reported today that its Construction Backlog Indicator increased to 8.2 months in March from 8.1 months in February, according to an ABC member survey conducted March 20 to April 3. The reading is down 0.5 months from March 2023.

Laboratories | Apr 15, 2024

HGA unveils plans to transform an abandoned rock quarry into a new research and innovation campus

In the coastal town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., an abandoned rock quarry will be transformed into a new research and innovation campus designed by HGA. The campus will reuse and upcycle the granite left onsite. The project for Cell Signaling Technology (CST), a life sciences technology company, will turn an environmentally depleted site into a net-zero laboratory campus, with building electrification and onsite renewables.

Codes and Standards | Apr 12, 2024

ICC eliminates building electrification provisions from 2024 update

The International Code Council stripped out provisions from the 2024 update to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) that would have included beefed up circuitry for hooking up electric appliances and car chargers.

Urban Planning | Apr 12, 2024

Popular Denver e-bike voucher program aids carbon reduction goals

Denver’s e-bike voucher program that helps citizens pay for e-bikes, a component of the city’s carbon reduction plan, has proven extremely popular with residents. Earlier this year, Denver’s effort to get residents to swap some motor vehicle trips for bike trips ran out of vouchers in less than 10 minutes after the program opened to online applications.

Laboratories | Apr 12, 2024

Life science construction completions will peak this year, then drop off substantially

There will be a record amount of construction completions in the U.S. life science market in 2024, followed by a dramatic drop in 2025, according to CBRE. In 2024, 21.3 million sf of life science space will be completed in the 13 largest U.S. markets. That’s up from 13.9 million sf last year and 5.6 million sf in 2022.

Student Housing | Apr 12, 2024

Construction begins on Auburn University’s new first-year residence hall

The new first-year residence hall along Auburn University's Haley Concourse.

K-12 Schools | Apr 11, 2024

Eric Dinges named CEO of PBK

Eric Dinges named CEO of PBK Architects, Houston.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021