King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center by Zaha Hadid

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center

Parametric design and Organic form for the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in the desert, designed by the Iraqi-British star architect Zaha Hadid.

Text From Zaha Hadid Architects: Our architectural vision and design for the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) acknowledges its technical and environmental objectives, but simultaneously endeavors to move beyond functional limitations to create a living, organic structure.

The architectural vision for the (KAPSARC) focused on technical and environmental concerns endeavors to create an organic form – a structure capable of continual expansion and transformation – rising as a cellular structure of crystalline forms from the desert landscape – a strong protective outer shell concealing soft, porous sheltered courtyards within.

The center is inherently forward-looking; its architecture also looks to the future, embracing a formal language capable of continual expansions or transformation with no compromise in visual integrity.

The center emerges from the desert landscape as a cellular structure of crystalline forms, shifting and evolving in response to environmental conditions and functional requirements. Consistent organizational, spatial strategies drive an adaptive approach, with each component, each individual building, fitted to the purpose it serves.

Protective from without, porous within, the structure’s strong, hard shell conceals a softer environment – sheltered courtyards, bringing natural daylight into all spaces; buffer zones creating smooth transitions from a hot, glaring exterior to a cool, filtered interior.

Project Info & Credits:

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Name of Project: King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Period: 2009 – 2012
Client: ARAMCO
Status: Under Construction
Site Area: 530,000 m2
Footprint Area: 28,500 m2
Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Director: Lars Teichmann, Charles Walker
Design Director: DaeWha Kang
Engineering: Arup
Interior: Woods Bagot
Landscaping: Gross.Max
Lighting: Office for Visual Interaction
Catering and Kitchen: Eastern Quay and GWP
Branding and Signage: Elmwood and Bright 3D
Library Consulting: Tribal
Cost / Design Project Management: Davis Langdon, Bernard Duffy
Project Leaders: Fabian Hecker (Research Center), Michael Powers (Conference Center), Brian Dale / Henning Hansen (Library), Fulvio Wirz (Musalla / IT Center), Elizabeth Bishop (Facades / 2d Documentation), Saleem A. Jalil / Maria Rodero (Master Plan), Lisamarie Ambia / Judith Wahle (Interiors), Bozana Komljenovic (2d Documentation), John Randle (Specifications), John Szlachta (3d Documentation Coordinator), Sophie Davison (Design Project Management)
Project Team: Adrian Krezlik; Alejandro Diaz; Alexander Palacio; Amit Gupta; Andres Madrid; Annarita Papeschi; Ayca Vural Cutts; Britta Knobel; Camiel Weijenberg; Carine Posner; Claire Cahill; Craig Kiner; DaChun Lin; Daniel Fiser; David Seeland; Deniz Manisali; Elizabeth Keenan; Evan Erlebacher; Garin O’Aivazian; Giorgio Radojkovic; Inês Fontoura; Hee Seung Lee; Jeremy Tymms; Julian Jones; Jwalant Mahadevwala; Lauren Barclay; Lauren Mishkind; Malgorzata Kowalczyk; Mariagrazia Lanza; Melike Altinisik, Michael Grau, Michael McNamara, Michal Wojtkiewicz, Mimi Halova, Mohammed Reshdan, Monika Bilska, Muriel Boselli, MyungHo Lee, Nahed Jawad, Natacha Viveiros, Navvab Taylor, Pedro Sanchez, Prashanth Sridharan, Roxana Rakhshani, Saahil Parikh, Sara Criscenti, Sara Saleh, Shaju Nanukuttan, Shaun Farrell, Sophie Le Bienvenu, Stefan Brabetz, Steve Rea, Talenia Phua Gajardo, Yu Du
Competition Team: Lisamarie Ambia, Monika Bilska, Martin Krcha, Maren Klasing, Kelly Lee, Hannes Schafelner, Judith Schafelner, Ebru Simsek, Judith Wahle, Hee Seung Lee, Clara Martins, Anat Stern, Daniel Fiser, Thomas Sonder, Kristina Simkeviciute, Talenia Phua Gajardo, Erhan Patat, Dawna Houchin, Jwalant Mahadevwala.