© Christian Richters

National Library of King Fahad

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City, Country Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Year 2004–2013
Client ADA Arriyadh Development Authority
Architect Gerber Architekten
Services Structural engineering
Façade engineering
Facts GFA: 68,500 m² | NFA: 55,000 m² | Gross volume: 452,000 m³
Awards Ingenieurpreis des Deutschen Stahlbaues 2015, Award | Middle East Economic Design Award (MEED) 2014, Social Project of the Year 2014 | DAM Preis für Architektur in und aus Deutschland 2014, Award | Preis des Deutschen Stahlbaues 2015, Recognition

In Saudi Arabia the complete recreation of the National Library of King Fahad has been remodelled, providing a total floor area of 55,000 m². A glass cube with 90 m edge length covering entirely the existing library has been built. The silhouette of the former library remains visible through the new building. The National Library facilities are located in the new building complex, administration and conference rooms remained in the former library building. It also provides a new two-storey underground park deck.

The new library is enclosed by a specifically developed ornamental dress. The filigree steel cable construction reflects the region‘s tensile-loaded building constructions. As temperatures reach 50°C (122° Fahrenheit) in the region, a membrane façade has been chosen permitting only 7% of solar transmission and providing protection from direct sunlight. Complex 3D light calculations enabled the optimisation of the façade and the position of the membrane surfaces in line with the exact local solar conditions.

Façade Engineering
© B+G
© B+G
© Christian Richters