KACWC - Dhahran / KSA


king abdulaziz center for world culture

A gigantic cultural project, which INOCLAD was significantly involved in, was completed in 2017 after an almost 10-year-long construction period. Since 2008, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (KACWC) has been in development in eastern Saudi Arabia under the plans of the well-observed Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta. The core idea of the design was structures that look like glittering rocks that have been tossed into the desert sand. The composition of standing and lying organic shapes reflects the conflict in Arab culture between archaic roots and visions for the future.

The base of the shining futuristic exterior, which surrounds each individual structure in harmonious curves, was planned, manufactured, and assembled by INOCLAD. There are thousands of three-dimensional individual curved pieces, none of which are exactly alike; a network of steel tubes weighing 2000 tons is integrated in a sandwich construction composed of inner aluminum sheets, insulation, and outer standing seam plates. Each of the 2500+ individual elements were extremely accurately planned on computer software and manufactured on specially developed machines. Like a vast three-dimensional puzzle, the curved panels were mounted on the shell substructure. Together, they form the watertight, highly-resistant shell that surrounds the primary construction of reinforced concrete ceilings, floors, and pillars. The metallic shell also forms the substructure, on which seemingly endless bands of polished stainless steel pipes can be applied.

After years of development, the building will now be seen as a cultural hub. Visitors will find 100,000 square meters of auditoriums, cinemas, exhibition halls, a library, and a museum.

  • Client: Saudi Aramco Oil Company
  • Location: Dharan, Saudi-Arabien
  • Year completed: 2016
  • Architect: Snøhetta
  • Services Provided: Building envelope consisting of steel structures with thermally insulated panels and standing seam linings
  • Weblinks:
    KACWC - light show
    KACWC - a beautiful view
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