The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, also known as Ithra, is situated in Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was built by Saudi Aramco and inaugurated by King Salman bin Abdulaziz on December 1, 2016. It is operated by Saudi Aramco and is currently the company’s main corporate social responsibility initiative with a focus on culture, learning and cross-cultural activities.
The building covers 80,000 square meters with its shape being inspired by the internal structural shape of oil-bearing rock formations. The Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta designed the building and the UK professional services firm Buro Happold led the engineering design.
The levels of the building are arranged thematically and intended to suggest a progression through the ages. Areas dealing with history and the past are at the lowest levels, beneath ground level and the ground floor dealing with the present. The higher levels are mainly situated in the structure known as the Knowledge Tower, with the intention being that the knowledge communicated in the tower’s teaching rooms will equip citizens for the future.
Regarding the environmental point of view, the building was designed in accordance with prevailing LEED standards to minimize adverse ecological impact. For example, the plants in the surrounding gardens were selected from desert species and intended to minimize use of water and survive dry desert conditions.
Year : 2014 — 2015
Client : Saudi Oger Ltd.
Project Name : King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture
Location : Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Type : Public — Museum
Scope : Fit-Out