Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura and Gerber Architekten have tied for first place in a competition to design a cultural and Islamic centre in Saudi Arabia.
The design by Ricardo Bofill is intended to foster the research, study and transmission of the Quran and takes inspiration from the geometric forms applied in traditional Islamic cities.
According to Ricardo Bofill, the first Islamic city had a circular plan – which influenced its winning design.
A statement from the architecture firm explained: “The first Islamic city had a circular plan, with all spaces being enclosed in the circle representing the elemental symbol of unity and the ultimate source of diversity in creation.
“This traditional city, or rather the idea of this city, serves as the base and the essence for the creation of the Islamic modern city. Such a background has led us to choose a circular concept as the main representational shape of the project for The Noble Qur’an Oasis.”
The project consists of a main entrance, The Chronological Route, the specialised exhibitions, educational section, conference and exhibition centre, The Noble Qur’an Library, The Qur’an Research Centre, administration, restaurants, visitor’s facilities and open parks, shopping and services areas, car parking and a warehouse.
The firm’s statement concluded: “This iconic project represents the Islamic city and its potential future extensions embodied in a series of covered circular forms, a palm oasis in the forefront, and fruit trees and native plants irrigated by a system of water canals creating a micro-climate. A traditional pattern of courtyards and narrow streets meshed within the structure encloses generously sized inner spaces, which define this center for the research, study and transmission of the Nobel Qur’an, as a unique place strongly related to Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah and its environment.”