Glimmering glass volume to educate on the power of architecture in the built environment
Excavation work has now commenced on the FWFOWLE-designed Museum of the Built Environment in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as the prestigious firm approaches the end of the project’s design development stage. With the volume’s heaviest portion at the summit and a level of transparency over its lower floors, FWFOWLE has experimented with the formal concepts of the erosion and chiselling of natural rock.
As an educational public facility dedicated to the promotion of art and architecture in the built environment it is imperative that the finished concept is representative of potential of the design industry. The Museum will look to inform visitors on the social, economical and environmental issues that shape the artistic forms in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s urban realm.
Prismatic laminated glass panels create a shifting textual pattern across the thick upper levels of the complex, splintering the strong Riyadh sunlight across its many angled panes. This variation also enables FWFOWLE to control the intensity of the internal light within differing sections of the interior space.
Encompassed within the building’s 340,000 sq ft footprint will be a number of permanent and temporary galleries, a 150-seat auditorium, several eateries, and a sun terrace, surrounded by a sizeable plaza bisected by a sunken pedestrian park. Also within the plans is a major transportation hub, including a monorail hub at the +2 level and a network of public skywalks at the +1 level.