King Salman Science Oasis


The new King Salman Center is located at the even area at the Prince Abdillah bin Abdulaziz Road. The building reacts with its strict geometry to the surroundings by forming a hard border. The actual science oasis is like a built landscape underneath a light roof construction. Between this intermediate area, the former course of the wadi becomes sensible. This is the main theme of the design. The terraces derived from the existing terrain create a dynamic and unique space between roof and ground. On this shaped terrain, the exhibition boxes are freely arranged . According to their topics like Life, Water and Earth the boxes are organized towards the wadi. Below the roof area of the science center, the green zones are used as resting places. They are arranged around generous setting areas and the auditorium underneath the roof shaded area. The floating roof, lightly curved, presents a recognizable logo for the King Salman Center. This landmark can be seen from far away. The roof presents a flexible shell, a sculpture-like structure that can be easily erected. The construction gives a maximum of flexibility. On the one hand, the roof contrasts with its technical and constructive appearance with the landscape. Thus emphasizes the thematical content. On the other hand, it picks up the organic and smooth language of the scenic elements, especially the topographical characteristics of the site. Thus creates an innovative building presenting a high degree of self-reliance and matchlessness that offers the visitor an unique and unbeatalbe experience. The entire venue of the PSSO as well as the outdoor exhibition spaces are covered by an impressive roof structure. The roof is basically flat; but is follows the natural outline of the landscape by slight curves. At some areas the roof shape changes dramatically. So dome shaped areas or some kind of volcano or chimney shaped areas suddenly grow out of the regular roof plane. At some areas the roof plane is breached by funnel shaped structures. These changes in shape are always related with the special uses underneath the roof. The chimney shaped structure is used for natural ventilation purposes, thus it creates an natural updraft for the internal airflow in order to achieve the de-ventilation (exhaust air) of the building. Rain water will be collected by a downwardly curved funnels.

Location Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Competition 1st prize 2004
Construction 2010 - 2021
GFA 23,350 m²
GV 303,550 m³
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