Looking like it landed in Riyadh from space, a futuristic Saudi landmark just won an award from its innovative architectural design. Embodying Zaha Hadid's signature style, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) accepted the American Concrete Institute (ACI) award for concrete construction excellence.
The structure features an hexagonal honeycomb structure which stands out with hexagonal cell openings providing shade from the harsh sun. "ZHA projects have always been unique and creative in an unprecedented, nontraditional way. There’s no other structure like it in the entire world,” Saudi architect Mokhtar Al Shoaibi told Arab News. Zaha Hadid's unconventional play with concrete reminds him of outer space. For Al Shoaibi, the late Iraqi architect's style brings back memories of the locally famous anime character, Grendizer.
Resembling an intricate iron skeleton web, the Saudi architected is in awe of the amazing KAPSARC campus. “We congratulate the Kingdom on this award. Riyadh is a beautiful city with many structures to be celebrated, including King Abdullah Financial City and ZHA’s train station," he added.
The Riyadh gem is no stranger to awards! According to Arab News, KAPSARC earned itself the title of “smartest building” in the Kingdom from the Honeywell Smart Building Awards program. The material used to build KAPSARC is made if 30 percent recycled materials and the campus incorporates solutions to solve energy challenges and environmental problems.