- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 26 Oct 2016
UHAC, Saudi Arabia
The centre is integral to on-going works to preserve Diriyah’s historic UNESCO World Heritage listed site, continuing restoration programmes throughout the 120 km Wadi Hanifah valley and re-establishing its natural environments.
The 8,780m² head office of the Heritage Museum incorporates a permanent exhibition gallery, library, lecture hall, and other educational spaces, and establishes a scientific institution for conducting field research and documenting archaeological sites.
The design engages with its geographical and cultural context. An atrium with water at its core, around which the facilities are organised, is key to the concept, and this mirrors the waters of the rich and habitable oasis in the Wadi Hanifah valley. In addition, the design includes four ‘scooped’ green oases within its apparently solid facade. On closer inspection, the facade reveals a carefully-perforated outer skin that protects the interior from solar gain while maintaining visual connections with the natural surroundings.
The design attempts to relate to Diriyah’s local vernacular; through a contemporary interpretation informed by the same natural forces that defined Diryah’s historical architecture. The preserved buildings of Diriyah’s historic centre use earthen construction with thick walls and small exterior openings for protection from the heat and sun. This is reinterpreted as a double-facade which creates apparent solidity from the outside while allowing natural light and views of the surroundings from the interior..
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The admissibility of evidence.
How many can you name? 37 anyone?
CIOB respond to the points-based system.
When is the weather considered 'exceptionally adverse'?
ECA backs call for a rolling programme of rail electrification.
What does 'curtilage' mean and why does it matter?
Our duty to prevent harm and protect each other.
A quality perspective.
If buildings were people, they would be just starting to walk on two legs.
Air filtration and clean air standards.
The Dukes of Normandy and the second world war.