World Architecture Awards Submissions / 42nd Cycle
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In the northwest of Saudi Arabia, 200km from the Red Sea, Al Ula is located on the old 'Incense Road’, a trade route that linked Arabia with the region. For centuries it was a geographical and cultural crossroads, a place of meetings and exchange. It integrates human and nature in an exceptional experience through a living museum, the city’s urban context is mixed between heritage sites and late 20th-century fabric. The activation of these heritage sites is a prime engine of the recent urban development of Al Ula.
The restoration and development of Omar Bin Abdulaziz Mosque was considered as first priority renovation of the zone, exposing this historic structure as the main urban drive of the area. The restoration of the mosque respected the original architectural vocabulary of the mosque represented in its strong triangular shapes and the internal arches which worked as an element and structural system at the same time. The minaret of the mosques is one of the unique features and main vista of the area as it is the highest minaret in the zone. The design approach is to preserve and enhance the deterioration that occurred in the building and develop the MEP system which was added to the space, creating visual pollution. In addition to the outdoor areas which are isolated from the public due to the high fences, neglected plazas, and not universally accessible due to the harsh topography.
Omar Bin Abdulaziz Mosque is located in the heart of Al Ula creating a focal point between the old town and the 20th-century historic zone. The mosque was built in the past 30 years with its unique architectural features and architectural style represented in its vocabularies: in the windows, doors, parapet, and interiors. The mosque’s location is significant as its located between two important main crossing streets in Al Ula the incense road (the ancient trading street of AlUla and the main crossing street) which the mosque used to be a cultural crossroad not only a religious institution. Due to the absence of the envisioning and planning of the city’s growth, the area was not developed in a proper context to preserve the mosque’s aesthetic and the area development.
Contextual design and placemaking:
At The Heart of Al Ula City, the mosques that are considerably rooted in the place, are a key part of the social and community life. The contextual positioning of this institutional function plays a vital role, in shaping the urban node of the city’s central heritage fabric. The design focuses into boosting the restored structure within the context by integrating it within the public realm and surrounding areas from 360 accessibility given its prestige’s positioning in the center. The placemaking approach is considered to respect the historic value of the building features by inviting the public through eliminating the fences, adding accessibility points from the main access, the incense road, market square, and highway from the opposite side. By achieving this the design aims to revive the authentic experience for the visitors to integrate culturally and socially with the mosque recalling the cultural crossroad used to be. This, in a strong alignment with the Al Ula new masterplan future development, guidelines, and vision.
Materiality and light:
A structural investigation and materiality test were conducted to understand the original colors of the mosque, construction method, and original features. The building was built with hybrid construction techniques stone bearing walls and concrete in some parts, showing that some additions were made throughout time. From the shades of Al Ula, the external finishing materials were extracted to blend with the context weaving into the internal space. Creating a strong relationship and emphasis between the external and internal design throughout the rhythmic windows allowing beautiful daylight into the space in the entire daytime. This was achieved by introducing an inspired triangular precast bricks pattern to play with the shade and shadow.
As part of connecting the context and achieving the placemaking approach, the landscape design follows the design strategy by emphasizing Al Ula desert landscape and native species allocated beautifully in the integrated front plaza and having the palm tree eastern garden as the gateway from the eastern side of the mosque.
Location: AlUla, Saudi Arabia
Al Jadida district (old town zone)
Site Area before restoration: 1420 m²
Site Area after restoration and development: 2200 m²
The new city of Amravathi, its governance, and its future inhabitants have taken it upon themselves to shed their identity and look for a future that is more modern, green, and sustainable. This paradigm shift goes aptly with the technological revolution which India has been going through for the past two decades and the search for a new identity that is more global. This proposal for the open mall blends the essence of street shopping from the past and its visual appeal leaning towards the contemporary set by the master planners and architects of the capital complex of Amaravathi.
an urban umbrella!
The building is imagined to perform like an umbrella. The parasol-like roof provides shade and protects the structure from direct radiation. The porous roof enhances airflow and creates a semi-open space at the roof level allowing various informal activities to happen in shade. The extension of the roof form at the northern side creates shaded walkways throughout the year allowing people to shop in comfort.
region & its surrounding
“ Little drops of water make a mighty ocean” The condition of the surrounding region in which the project is situated indicates a severe depletion in groundwater & is highly prone to drought. Irrespective of the sustainable efforts proposed in the Master plan it is extremely important for every individual structure to sincerely contribute and improvise the groundwater system.
The parasol structure, a combination of light aluminum roofing spread over a rigid steel framework draws its functional and visual inspiration from Fish scales. The parametrically deforming dia-grids combine to form curves in three dimensions required for creating a flowing morphology.
Nature does every act for a specific purpose forming a system. Beauty and aesthetics are a product of this system. The Lotus and Lilly in ponds have a good horizontal spread and thick leaf shading protects the water underneath from evaporation.
Structural System : Mild steel
Roof: kalzip Aluminum roofing
Senthil Kumar Doss, Periyasamy P S, Prasanna Kumar P, Harish Thirugnanam, Shivani Saran S K , Aparajitha A K
3D Visualizer : Lucid Dream
Pamukkale Culture Center
The aim of the project is to create a new urban focus area that will support the urban identity integrated with daily urban life. The architectural program of the building is expected to establish a new social life integrated with the proposed open spaces. The basic design principle is not only to propose a cultural center but to create a human-oriented public space for the sustainability of social and cultural values of the daily life.
The roof which is designed considering the climatic conditions is also an important part of the mass articulation and is reflected in the interior spaces. These spaces offer different spatial experiences to the users at every point of the building. The fragmented spaces created by the articulation of the roof define different interior spaces and masses to establish spatial continuities with the urban ground and the urban landscape.
The transparent surfaces proposed on the exterior of the building visually and spatially strengthen the relationship it establishes with its surroundings. The permeability created on these surfaces is significant in constructing not only spatial relations but also social practices. Semi-open and open spaces designed at different levels of the building provide both the continuity of the functions and the relationship of different functions with each other. The openings proposed on the exterior façade of the building and the continuity created by the design of interior galleries provide a strong spatial interaction. This flexible design of the building creates a holistic perception for the users both in the interior and exterior while defining the functional separation.
Total Land Area: 5.193 m²
Total Construction Area: 18.225 m²
The project includes multi purpose halls, meeting rooms, ateliers, library, administration, kindergarten, sports and fitness center, dance classrooms, cafe and restaurant.
Orhan Uludağ (Ms. Architect, City Planner)
Zeynep Uludağ (Prof. Dr. Zeynep Uludag)
Furkan Türker (3D Visualization Leader)
The main concept of this project is ‘’ unity ‘’ which is formed from the external body and continued to the interior. The nature of this project is not constructed just from the extension of a unique form, but from the multiplication of a basic element in architecture, which is the “wall”. These thick and pure walls are made from the vertical arrangement of Basalt stone ingots that form the project from the entrance to the roof garden and Project skyline, and eventually the whole body. These walls are cut in specific borders of the combination of the facade layers, architectural plan, and structural construction. Meanwhile, the structural elements and facade columns are hidden inside these walls. Between this separated facade, the natural light of interior spaces and appropriate connection with the exterior scene is materialized. Finally, with the extension of these walls into the depth of the project, space arrangement and Indoor arenas are shaped. In this project, the balcony is the specific point of the exterior body and the interior space. In other words, the separation of eastern and western bedrooms is no longer limited to just the solid walls of a traditional balcony. This significant balcony, like a glass box, provides suitable light and view for bedrooms and family living rooms. Moreover, a shrub is located in its center in order to convey a distinctive feeling. In the extension of the north balcony and in the middle axis of the house, the family living room and kitchen are placed. The function and proportion of these spaces are in coordination with the Pieces of basalt walls from the other arenas of the plan. Moreover, the effects of these walls can be seen in public spaces such as the lobby, parking, backyard, staircase, and roof garden. Besides, in each space nature and the independence of materials are preserved. In the interior spaces, furniture, materials of closets, and cabinets are designed of Elm wood to create a warm atmosphere alongside the cold and neutral color of Basalt stone.
Location: Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Area: 1200 sqm
Principal Architects: Shahram Farjadian, Sahand Mosallaei
Tower (n.) a tall, narrow building, either free-standing or forming part of a building. What if we changed the meaning of architectural towers?
Sameem tower changes the perception of towers. It’s an architectural project that is located in a prime location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on King Fahad Road; the main commercial corridor of Riyadh, with a land area of 6,804 square meters. The projects convey the idea of having a tower that is extending wide on the site rather than standing tall on ground. The site’s strategic location is accessible by 10 min walking distance from one of the main metro stations, Riyadh metro, which is considered one of Riyadh transit-oriented development (TOD) zones, next to multiple commercial towers, residential buildings and services hubs. The project plays a significant role in enhancing the quality of life around the TOD project developments approach. TOD will change the form of Riyadh by offering lucrative mixed-use redevelopment opportunities, taking advantage of the size-able investments in public transportation.
The concept of the project was based on the six principles of SALMANI local Architecture: authenticity, continuity, human centric, livability, sustainability, and innovation. Those principles were artistically reflected on the design of the building form. We shaped the front elevation as a triangle shape to feature the symbol of local architecture, therefore we used local materials such as Riyadh limestone to emphasize this exotic principle.
The project’s aim is to be one of the prestigious office buildings in Riyadh, meeting the massive demand for office spaces in Riyadh as part of Saudi Vision of 2030.
The tower consists of 10 floors, with a height of 42 meters. The project consists of three basement parking floors that offer more than 460 parking spots.
The ground floor contains a wide entrance hall atrium that extends marvelously from ground level to the top of the building; along with luxury stores, high-end restaurants, and cafes. The project’s mid floors consist of flexible open office spaces with multiple outdoor terraces in every office offering openness, aesthetic views, and an engaging tranquil environment to the users.