Zaha Hadid won the commission for the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center to be built in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but Santa Monica's (possibly soon-to-be Culver City's) Morphosis has released their entrant, so let's take a gander. Here's what Morphopedia has to say about the project: "The new KAPSARC master plan is rooted in the historical model of the oasis village: pools of recycled water naturally cool the air and create a habitable climate; gardens of endangered desert plants surround and weave between the architecture; and the iconic research center building rises at the core of the site, with walls radiating out to offer both symbolic and literal protection. As if generated by the dynamism of the research nucleus, the security walls and glowing light bars emanate from the Center—building becomes wall, which in turn activates and organizes the site." They add that the building takes inspiration from the desert cactus, with a maximized volume but minimal surface area to cut down on exposure.
· King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center [Morphopedia]
· The Building [KAPSARC]