KAFD Information Hub

As the most significant commercial real estate development in Saudi Arabia King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) will cover an area of 1.6km². Currently under construction the development is a mix of commercial office, hotels and serviced apartments sitting alongside museums, education and civic amenities which all have a connection to the vibrant financial community.

Competition 2011
Client Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
GFA 34.464 m²
GV 148.000 m³

Equipped with the newest media resources, it views itself as an information-hub and network-centre with education programmes, who strengthen society’s understanding and their cultural context. Furthermore than the functions of library, the spatial plots for tourist information, exhibition, community services, and informal communication zones will contribute this idea. The new building consists of two levels of public services accommodation, communication centre, community services and tourist information at Wadi and Plaza levels and three levels of library accommodation, containing facilities for library users and administration.
There is an underground delivery and technical area under the Plaza and three levels of underground car parking. The main concept idea is to implement the silent and introverted spaces into a closed building structure upwards the ´open´ and ´noisy´ functions that are free organised down, on the passage through from wadi to plaza.
The closed building structure is derived from mushroom stonestructures made by wind in the desert. The mushroom heads stay on three feet coming down who are building gates to pass through. This way through should seem like a free connection from wadi to plaza nearly without visible interruption. Therefore the glassfacade has to be as transparent as possible. This adapted to local climate. The closed structure should appear seamless. Therefore it gets a tile cladding all over, even from outside to inside.The dynamic projecting form shades the spaces below.

The integrated functionalities of library, tourist information, exhibition space, community services and informal communication zones will help the inhabitants, the employees and also the temporary visitor to get a better understanding of the development, its community and its cultural context. The building is divided between a lower open public area and an enclosed upper level which contains the library functions and provides shading for the levels below. The public areas connect the street level functions of the Financial District with the landscaped park (the “Wadi”) which runs through the site.

The Library

The KAFD Information Hub will provide a variety of services. First of all, each resident, employee and visitor of KAFD can get the necessary information here to understand how the KAFD works, where to find important institutions, businesses and places of interest and what rules and regulations are important for him.

The library and even its physical collection are not static any more, a fluid space of information and discovery will appear virtually everywhere within the building. The technology necessary for the construction of a fluid library already exists but has never been combined in that way before. Companies like Bibliotheca RFID are already active in Saudi-Arabia.

Location Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Competition 1st prize, 2011
GFA 34.464 m²
GV 148.000 m³
Design Architect Prof. Eckhard Gerber
Project Director Thomas Lücking
Project Architect Nicole Juchems
Team members Carsten Liese, Felix Wirth, Gordon Lauder, Sarah Hörstgen, Abdelhamed Darrag, Tim Kraus (LA), Magda Cieslicka (LA), Katrin Mauer (LA), Judith Hilgers (LA), Annette Korte (IA)
Modelpictures Taufik Kenan
Model-makers Monath + Menzel
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