Dortmund-based Gerber Architekten has been selected as one of two winning entries for their proposal to the ‘Noble Quran Oasis’ museum competition. Responding to its location near the holy city of Medina, Saudi Arabia, the design contrasts the barren volcanic landscape with a vegetated circular form.
This pure overall geometry is subdivided by an irregular network of lines which create angular spaces, and in turn result in a folded plate roof. The scheme situates the building volume in the Wadi (valley) land form, which results from a dried up river. The structure’s roof is composed as a series of disparate angular pieces reminiscent of traditional islamic ornamentation, and is coated with gold-colored photovoltaic panels. This distinctive element is complemented by the complex’s vegetated landscape, which refers to classical arab gardens and illustrates central teachings of the quran.
The museum is accessed via two terraced entrances which step down on either end of the existing Wadi topography. Visitors pass underground and into a tall central atrium, which receives plentiful daylight through the perforated roof.
Location: Medina, Saudi Arabia
Total building area: 100,000 sqm GFA
Estimated cost: $175 million USD