For an institution such as the King Abdullah Petroleum Research and Studies Center, whose ultimate goal is to help increase the efficiency of energy sources and their social impact around the world, neighborhoods that prioritize ecology and productivity were needed. A challenge taken up, in Riyadh, by the Zaha Hadid Architects office.
Covering 70,000 m2, the King Abdullah Petroleum Research and Studies Center campus includes 5 buildings: 3 centers, 1 research library and 1 space for prayer and inspiration. Their common thread? The technical prowess and the ecological concern that the Zaha Hadid Architects office has given to its architecture. The set is designed to adapt to its environment and derive maximum performance from it with minimum consumption and pollution. Located on the Riyadh Plateau, the construction is organized around a hexagonal honeycomb design. Crystalline prisms, the advantage of which is to use as little material as possible to create the desired volume and to allow the easy addition of new cells in the event of an extension project. Besides their innate characteristics, these honeycombs are arranged according to the sun and the wind. Raised in protective towers, open to allow the diffusion of soft natural light or fitted with wind sensors to cool the premises, their functions are multiple. In the end, a sculptural and futuristic work that encourages transparency and exchanges, while prioritizing the well-being of the planet: 45% reduction in energy consumption, 30% of construction materials of recycled origin and 4,000 tonnes of sorted waste and redirected away from landfills. Bet won!