Snøhetta builds new Center in Saudi Arabia
On May 20th King Abdulla laid the foundation stone for the King Abdullah Center for Knowledge and Culture. The Norwegian architects Snøhetta AS won a competition among fife invited architects amongst others like Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas.
The King Abdullah Center for Knowledge and Culture is a project by the Saudi Aramco Oil Company, the biggest oil company worldwide. Located in Dhahran in the Eastern Province the Cultural Center will provide for a wide range of activities. The center will bear 50000 square meters of diverse cultural facilities, including an auditorium, which will seat 1000 visitors, a cinema, library, exhibition hall, museum and archive.
In the auditorium will be provided a great assortment of events ranging from opera, symphony concerts, musicals, etc. Put together with the cinema, this will be the inimitable location for performing arts in the Kingdom. The Library is supposed to become a center of learning with 300000 books on open access and catering for all categories of users. The Center`s museum will showcase the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An Children`s Education Center will provide an large range of learning facilities for 2-12 year old children, like video, audio and self-directed study.
Snøhetta, who already built the new Alexandria Library in Egypt and the Oslo Opera House, want to create a distinctive addition to the Dhahran landscape. The cubature of the building should reflect the history of the oil production in Saudi Arabia. In 2012 the Center will open its doors to the public.