King Abdullah Monument Project

Partner in Charge: Youssef Mallat, Michel Georr
Team: Joy Traboulsi, Anthony Chemaly, Richard Kassab
Project Description:
A contest at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia called for a monument in a historically significant area close to the school. Two schemes were devised in parallel, following two different approaches to transforming an existing concrete platform that once served as a military base.

The Oases of Light and Life Scheme
The concept for this scheme simulates a traveler’s journey through Saudi Arabia: lush oases linked by dry stretches of desert. On a small scale, clusters of vegetation form green sanctuaries inspired by the country’s biodiversity; each oasis represents a local ecosystem. Predetermined touristic elements, including a museum, natural aquarium, and visitor center, define alternate cultural oases.  All connect to concrete paths, a reference to the desert’s barren terrain. Pushing the concept further to include coastal landscapes and the surrounding sea, the course extends offshore from a marina to a small island of mangrove trees. The resulting montage is a portrait of the country that inspired it.

The Greenergy Park Scheme
This sustainable energy park is inhabited by a solar tent that covers and powers a museum, natural aquarium, and visitor center; additional energy comes from a series of architectonic wind turbines. A monumental fountain acts as a sundial – an organic reminder that time is running out on environmental preservation. With a focus on energy conservation, the project challenges preconceived notions of oil-producing countries, and re-establishes the KSA as a proponent of clean renewable energies.
Renders: 109 Architectes
Location:  Riyad, Saudi Arabia
Client:  King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
Project area:  50,000 m2
Year:  2008
Project status:  Concept design