German firm Gerber Architekten has been selected as one of the two winning competition entries for its Noble Qur’an Oasis museum proposal.
The design presents the barren volcanic landscape of its nearby location of Media, Saudi Arabia, with a circular central form featuring various vegetation.
The geometry of the design results in a folded plate roof, subdivided by an irregular network of lines that create angular spaces, reminiscent of traditional Islamic ornamentation.It is coated with gold-coloured photovoltaic panels.
The scheme itself is situated in a wadi (valley) land form, where the traditional ornamental style of the roof is complemented by museum’s vegetated landscape that are a reference to classical Arab gardens, as well as illustrating teaching from the Qur’an.
Providing two terraced entrances which step down on either end of the existing wadi topography, visitors to the museum can pass underground and into a tall central atrium, reflecting plenty of natural lighting through the perforated roof overhead.
A pond is placed at the centre of this large space that also provides circulation through paths that lead to the exhibition spaces that are distinguished by the five pillars of Islam (Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Sawn and Hajj).
They are arranged into three separate interactive routes, portraying the history of Islam’s culture and the Qur’an.
The lower level of the central plaza houses various spaces including a conference centre, library, auditorium, mediatheque, seminary rooms and an educational area.
Patio courtyards are spread between these areas, using different themes to create variety throughout the complex. The botanical gardens are also placed to inform visitors about plants in the teachings of the Qur’an.
The site measures up to 200,000m2 and is located to the north-east of central Medina and about 12 km from the Prophet’s Mosque as well as being in close proximity to the Prince Muhammad Ibn Addul Aziz airport.