The King Fahad National Library in Riyadh reopens

The King Fahad National Library in Riyadh reopens

A cultural beacon is revived

Image: Design Boom

The library has re-opened its doors to the public, ten years after Gerber Architekten won over international competition to complete the project

The King Fahad Library is one of the most significant cultural centres in the region – situated in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital city – and its recent redesign has involved the extension and refurbishment of an already existing building. It was a project won by German architectural firm Gerber Architekten over ten years ago.

Part of a program to enable interaction, collaboration and study within the city, the structure connects with the surrounding landscape acting as a centrepiece of an urban park – despite its huge size. The design echoes elements of Arabian culture; with a cuboid shape surrounding the previous structure, creating a new series of elevations.

The interior occupies comfortable spaces and provides a calming, peaceful atmosphere. With well-lit space it simply enables the exchange of knowledge and comprehension, like any good library should. The main hall is located at ground level, next to the exhibition areas, a bookshop and a restaurant. On the first floor there is a separate area specifically for women in which female guests can relax and feel comfortable out of national dress.

By night the King Fahad Library is illuminated with colour patterns that change, standing as a beacon of culture for the region and its people.

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