- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 08 Jan 2021
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
Training reflects updated guidance in BSRIA BG 29/2021.
Complete list of 2021 winners now available.
Recognising past and present role models for the future.
So why not write something?
LETI publishes guidance for energy efficient home retrofits.
Predictions about adequate post-pandemic IAQ in non-domestic buildings.
Government publishes plans to 'build back greener'.
The contentious nature of claims associated with cladding, fire safety and EWS1 forms.
ECA comments on low-carbon heating systems initiative and Heat and Buildings Strategy.