Located in the new King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, the Conference Center is designed as an extension of the angular desert landscape, and its organic profile and faceted skin stitch together the building and the adjacent terrain. The state-of-the art building sets a new standard for flexible conferencing, providing a multipurpose event hall with operable walls, a 600-seat auditorium with full lecture and cinema support, and a “digital forum” approach that allows all venues to be internally and externally networked.
The conference rooms are designed as immersive four-wall video environments, with walls that contain retractable projection screens allowing users to conduct virtual video meetings. The conference rooms are clad in electrochromic glass that permits users to change from clear to opaque glass based on their desired levels of light and privacy. A “media cloud” in the ceiling of each conference room will have the ability to communicate with mobile devices, permitting wireless sharing and projection of user content in a meeting setting. Dynamic interactive signage will enable conference attendees to brand individual rooms and conference venues.
The building employs several profoundly innovative sustainability strategies, including an enclosure that locates areas of glazing where they are least susceptible to the harsh desert sun; a ventilation system incorporating a “solar chimney” that uses solar heat to move air through the main atrium spaces; and a roof that contains indigenous desert grasses to minimize irrigation requirements.