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    Images courtesy of Hayy Cinema

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    Images courtesy of Hayy Cinema

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    Images courtesy of Hayy Cinema

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    Images courtesy of Hayy Cinema

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    Images courtesy of Hayy Cinema

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The first bespoke home for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia

Georgina Johnston
05 Feb 2020

More than 100 architects and designers from around the world entered the competition to design a new kind of cinema for Saudi Arabia

Art Jameel, an independent organisation supporting arts, education and heritage both in the Middle East and globally, has announced Bricklab as the winner of its international design competition for Hayy:Cinema, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The first non-commercial picture house to be designed and built since Saudi Arabia announced in 2018 that it was reopening cinemas, Hayy:Cinema is set to be a home for local film community, and a stage for high quality regional and international independent film.

The Jeddah based design studio’s winning design expanded the role of what a cinema can be, besides a main screen with 200 seats, Bricklab’s design incorporates an additional community screening room, audiovisual library, archive viewing rooms and educational space. The expanded picture house was inspired and informed by Bricklab’s extensive research into the history of cinema in the Gulf, and interviews with Saudi and regional actors, directors and producers. Hayy:Cinema is set to open its doors as part of Hayy:Creative Hub in winter 2020. 

Art Jameel launched a design competition in February 2019, inviting architects and designers to respond to a brief that foregrounded innovative and creative design; sustainable solutions; and technological excellence. The jury process was blind, with each applicant represented only by a number.

Founded in 2015 by Saudi brothers Abdulrahman and Turki Gazzaz, Bricklab explores the boundaries between artistic practice, material/civic research, and the built environment. Their projects range in scale and include installations, interiors, architecture, and furniture but Hayy:Cinema is their largest and most ambitious permanent project to date.

Hayy:Cinema is the first bespoke home for Saudi and international independent film in the Kingdom; its unique design, thanks to Bricklab, allows for not only film screenings, but also for skills development, education and community engagement.

A. Carver, Director, Art Jameel.

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