Project DescriptionThe Geo-Science Center celebrates Saudi Arabia’s contributions to science and environmental education in a pair of buildings prominently located in a new development complex in Riyadh: the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD). They are linked within KAFD by skywalks and a Monorail system on the upper level and by pedestrian access at Plaza Level and a below-grade pedestrian spine thematically reminiscent of the traditional Wadi, the center of community activity.
C7A’s design is derived from the fragmented and faceted forms of giant crystals found in nature. These crystalline shapes appear to grow out of the Plaza, creating the fractal character of each building and conveying a high energy level of these converging forces. Most “crystals” are solid, clad in spandrel glass with bronze scrims or polished stone panels, while others are glazed, shimmering forms, allowing views and light in and permitting light to escape at night. The exterior consists of intersecting fragments of metal, stone and glass, dematerializing and ever changing with the moving path of the sun.
Visitors can enter each building at the Wadi level through their lobbies, which act as information/orientation foyers. The main entrance though the north building of the Geo-Climate Centre provides access to the Museum and Planetarium, KAFD Skywalks, Monorail and the Underground Garage. The IMAX Theatre, housed in the southern building has its own entrance. Retail and food service venues are located at the Wadi Level.