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Diplomatic Club Heart Tent

Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn/Omrania



ArRiyadh Development Authority


  • Structural Engineer: Buro Happold

Project Status


Year Completed

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Project Description

Located within the Diplomatic Quarter of the Tuwaiq Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this structure was originally built for a diplomatic club to be used as a hospitality center. The clients, Arriyadh Development Authority, requested a stable structure that would protect visitors from the harsh environment, yet respect the local cultures and traditions.

The curved walls of the tent-like structures involved a highly concentrated and intricate building process, because the kind of technology used to build these tents was very limited. The redesign of this area also became equally intricate because of this.

The Diplomatic Club Heart Tent are placed within the interior gardens of the palace, and used for receptions and banqueting. They are made of cable net construction, with insulation and tile cladding, and are meant to blend in with both the garden and the exterior of the surrounding palace. However, the tents also face outward and have a translucent fabric, contrasting the desert. Within the tent, a tile pattern was created by Bettina Otto, Frei Otto's daughter.
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