DAR Al-ULOUM PUBLIC LIBRARY
A Cultural Landmark.
The Dar Al-Uloum Public Library will become the new heart of the Abdulrahman Al Sudairy Cultural Centre. It will offer the city a new civic space where culture and nature, the old and new, history and future, will intertwine. The new campus completely opens up to the city, creating an inviting public space.
The library building is the centerpiece that connects all the other buildings in the complex. The Library stands in the crossroad of a system of paths that extends through the park and integrates all the elements of the cultural center. In this scheme, a public walkway circles the building, and crosses the atrium linking the whole site.
The Library as a Park.
The park and the library are conceived as a continuum. In one direction, nature extends under the new roof of the library in a system of shaded spaces full of vegetation and water. These spaces create a covered piazza in the center of park. In the other direction, the program of the library extends to the outside. Reading terraces, the extension of the café, event spaces and meeting places for the employees and for visitors, all expand the life of the library into the park. The park, the library, interior and exterior, are all integrated.
A Unity between Old and New
No part of the old structure is demolished; the existing building is completely reused and retrofitted. Some of its existing elements -like the auditorium- are updated to become the central elements of the library’s new image from the street. All parts of the building, both old and new are clad in the same type of local stone giving the building a unitary image. As the new additions wraps around the existing structure, the old building lives on as the heart of the new building.