King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture in Saudi Arabia

Commemorating Saudi Aramco’s 75th anniversary, the Center for Knowledge and Culture in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia will cost at least $300 billion. It is being built next to the first well in Saudi Arabia to yield commercial quantities of oil. As well as celebrating Saudi Arabia's breakthrough economy and modernization (although their society's progression still has a ways to go), the center pursues humanity through knowledge, diversity, and cross-cultural understanding.

Saudi Aramco president and CEO Abdallah S. Jum’ah said, “This company-built Center will serve the community’s needs in the fields of knowledge, culture and the arts. My hope for this project is that it will be a source of enrichment that will inspire our younger generation to reflect on the golden era of Islamic culture.” (Architecture Lab)

The center includes theatres, cinemas, a museum, a library and exhibition halls.
It's by Snøhetta Architects, out of Norway, and will open as soon as 2012. Other projects from this firm include new Alexandria Library in Egypt and the Oslo Opera House in Norway.

The pictures are pretty, but the function of this planned project are very important, particulary concerning the intentions to inspire the younger generation. The influence and effect on the Islamic culture could be positive, and the architecture could make all the difference. These pretty pictures, unfortunately, offer no clues on how positive or negative the social catalyst will be.

More info and images , More info and images

Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6

[images: o d b, MEED DUBAI, AECOM Projects]

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