The shape of the building is based on the Islamic religious symbol of the square inside the square. The building‘s orientation and geometry are directed towards Mecca. The plot is located in the western part of the city in the district of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
The two main design goals are openness and transparency, reflecting the objectives of the Human Rights Commission. These goals are reflected by the extensive use of transparent materials allowing inside and outside vistas. The building also floats above the landscape supported by “V” columns, to provide natural ventilation and easy access to the pleasant gardens.
The façade was designed as a reinterpretation of the palm leaf and is composed of two skins: the primary transparent glass façade and the brise soleil of a perforated metal sheet, which provides protection and shelter from the sun.
Several engineering design challenges were addressed to our specialists within this project.
The large dimension of the building, with large floor spans, the structural support system and the scarcity of cores make the structural design conditioned by limit states different from those that usually comprise the structural design of common structures. Due to their inherent capacity and versatility, solutions with steel and mixed structures were adopted. Besides the singular main structure of the building, we highlight the solutions adopted to the façade, suspended conference rooms, minaret, walkways and auditorium.
The HVAC design was a real engineering challenge, especially with the combination of the extreme temperature and humidity conditions, resulting from being a city in the middle of the desert, with design options that incorporate glass façades and simultaneously meet sustainability goals. A particular attention was given to water management and were also incorporated solutions such as abstraction, treatment and storage of rainwater in cisterns into this building.