The international competition for the refurbishment and extension of the King Fahad National Library in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was won by the German practice Gerber Architekten and their project was recently completed reopening to the public.
The project is one of the most significant cultural centers of the region and it is a part of a larger urban development trying to facilitate interaction as well as study. The library is the centerpiece of a new urban park and its façade is inspired by the historical heritage of the location and the Arabian culture.
The cubic shape surrounds the existing structure acting as a protective shell and adding new elevations. The façade is made by filigree textiles and the pattern is traditional for the Middle Eastern architectural style.
The interior is bright and offers a soothing ambiance with exhibition areas, a restaurant and a bookshop at the ground level and the first floor hosts an area designed specifically for women so that they can spend time there without a burka.