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Mon 6 Nov 2017 10:57 AM

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In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia

The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KASPARC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects has opened its door to the public, appearing as a series of 'crystalline forms' emerging from the desert landscape.

In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
As the architects’ first LEED-certified building, KASPARC is designed in response to the environment of the Riyadh Plateau to minimise energy consumption – in line with the research centre’s aim to use energy more efficiently.
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
The non-profit institution’s campus incorporates five buildings, including the Energy Knowledge Centre; the Energy Computer Centre; a conference centre with an exhibition hall and a 300-seat auditorium; as well as a research library complete with 100,000 volumes; and the Musalla, a place for prayer and contemplation.
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
The modular structure, which features hexagonal prismatic honeycomb shapes, creates a composition of crystalline forms that seemingly emerge from the desert landscape.
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
Orientated for the sun and wind conditions, its latticed, white, crystalline facade acts as a solid, protecting shell against the harsh, southern sunlight; gaining in height towards the south, west, and east.
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
It is left open to the north and west via a series of sheltered courtyards, encouraging prevailing winds to cool the campus, as well as bringing daylight into the interior space.
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
“KAPSARC’s five buildings differ in size and organization to best suit their use,” the architects said.
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
“Each building is divided into its component functions and can be adapted to respond to changes in requirements or working methods. Additional cells can readily be introduced by extending KAPSARC’s honeycomb grid for future expansion of the research campus.”
In pictures: Zaha Hadid's KAPSARC research centre in Saudi Arabia
First unveiled in 2014, the 70,000m2 development’s convention centre was chosen as the venue to host the 2017 Saudi Design Week.