I find the architectural designs that are being created in the Middle East absolutely fascinating. The region of the world, known more in these parts for terrorism, failed states, and oil cartels are at the cutting edge of architectural wonders. So much so, that they are shaming design in the U.S.
Part wishes that our designs were 1/10 as courageous as anything in Dubai, including that newly announced rotating skyscraper, and now this cultural center that is going to be built in Saudi Arabia for King Abdulaziz. The amorphous building is striking and oddly reminds me of the alien life form from The Abyss.
In competition with some of the world?s greatest architects, Sn?hetta has won the competition about designing Saudi Arabia?s new Cultural Center. Saudi Aramco ? the world?s largest oil company ? is the client.
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz set the cornerstone for the Cultural Center which will house a museum, library, theater, cinema and more. The building reflects the history of oil in Saudi Arabia and is different from the country?s architectonic traditions with its abstract and spectacular form.
Along with five other internationally know architect offices, Sn?hetta participated in the competition and was chosen in preference to famous names as Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas.