Known worldwide for their obscene oil wealth, Saudi Arabia has invited international architects to submit sustainable designs for Riyadh’s new royal wedding celebration hall. The brief calls for a regal building that props up the country’s historic legacy without creating a detrimental impact on the natural environment. Celebration Hall in Riyadh’s key diplomatic quarter will overlook the Aga Khan award-winning Wadi Hanifa restored wetlands, as well as the vast desert landscape beyond. Dubai-based Godwin Austen Johnson Architects were among those invited to participate in this challenging competition. Step on in for a brief look at their proposal.
Naturally the design had to be bold in keeping with Saudi grandeur. These renderings depict the gold-tinted one would expect of a royal wedding hall complete with glitzy lights and what appear to be marble floors. But the outside of the building is significantly more understated.
The desert-colored stepped envelope meshes beautifully with the surroundings, and attempts to reflect the vernacular architecture. Thick walls deflect the high desert temperatures to ensure a comfortable, cool interior, which combined with natural lighting improves the royal hall’s overall energy efficiency.
That Saudi has insisted on some level of sustainability for such a key building (in the area that plays host to all of the foreign consulates and embassies no less) demonstrates the Kingdom’s commitment to reducing its local energy consumption.
:: Arch Daily
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