Saudi Oger starts construction of cultural centre

Foundations poured for King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture

An artist's impression of the Centre. Photo: MIR/Snohetta
An artist's impression of the Centre. Photo: MIR/Snohetta

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Saudi Oger has begun foundation work for the ambitious King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture in Dhahran in the Eastern province of the Kingdom.

Saudi Oger, the main contractor for the project, has been on site for several months, excavating and preparing the site for the first foundation pour this past week

The Centre was designed by Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta, which was awarded the design work after winning an international competition that included top-tier Saudi and international design firms.

“The commencement of the Center’s construction is a proud moment for us,” said Nasser A. Al-Nafisee, general manager of Saudi Aramco Public Affairs.

“For over 75 years, Saudi Aramco has been committed to making significant contributions toward the betterment of the nation, and the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture will be one of the most visible and creative manifestations of that commitment, extending not just to the people of the Kingdom, but around the world.”

The striking design is mean to resemble a collection of glossy pebbles stacked in the desert. The five connected buildings – each with their own unique function and structural geometry – contain an auditorium, library, theatre, exhibition hall, museum and children’s centre.

Buro Happold devised the innovative post-tension concrete system to provide support for this non-traditional cantilevered structure.

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