Ministry of Culture
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The complex was built as a cultural centre but became the Ministry of Culture by royal ruling. With a mosque as its backbone, the building envelope is oriented towards the Al Turaif World Heritage Site - a mud city transformed into a museum. Prioritising human scale and clear views, the design reinterprets traditional architecture with a contemporary twist: its slanting morphology emerges from the ground, forming an extension of the adjacent landscape terraces and transforming the courtyard from an introverted to an extroverted space. The roof becomes a connected platform and fifth elevation, reflecting how house roofs in old Turaif were used as living areas on hot summer nights. It links the public space of the ground with the semi-public space of the ministry, making it accessible for communal use as an open-air theatre, meditation point, or Al Turaif observatory. Riyadh sandstone is employed with various surface treatments, together with glass.

Source. Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Associated Names
Completed 2019
46'500 m²
Building Usages
urban design and development