Perkins+Will announced that it was named a winner of the â€œArchitectural Review / MIPIM Future Projects Awardâ€ in the â€˜tall buildingsâ€™ category for the proposed design for the Al-Birr Foundation Headquarters in Riyadh, KSA. The Al-Birr Foundation is a non-profit organization aimed at alleviating poverty and caring for disadvantaged families and children. The international competition honors excellence in design related to MIPIM, a market for international property trade.
Winner of the Architectural Review / MIPIM Future Projects Award in the â€˜tall buildingsâ€™ category: Al-Birr Foundation Headquarters by Perkins+Will
The Perkins+Will design team, led by Principal and New York Office Design Director, Robert Goodwin, AIA, LEED AP was challenged with designing a sustainable urban tower, while taking into account the specific environmental and cultural characteristics of Riyadh.
Rendering of the Interior
â€œThe design explores the typology of an urban tower in the extreme environmental conditions of Riyadh through a reinterpretation of three iconic elements of Islamic cultureâ€”the spiral minaret, the walled garden, and the mashrabiya,â€ said Rob Goodwin. â€œThe design approach synthesizes the symbolic and functional qualities of these elements into a unified expression of the Foundationâ€™s altruistic mission to protect, replenish, and care for the disadvantaged.â€
The design begins with a simple rectangular form from which a unique spatial and formal identity is created. A â€˜spiraling gardenâ€™ is carved from the volume of the rectangle, creating a continuous spatial sequence with a series of open terraces that serve as â€˜hangingâ€™ courtyard gardens for the building occupants. The enclosing skin is calibrated through a series of mapping exercises to create varying levels of openness based on solar exposure and spatial/contextual influences. Evoking the traditional â€˜mashrabiyaâ€™, or wooden latticework screen, this permeable skin creates a delicate balance of static and dynamic expression.
Exploded Axonometric View
The design for the Al-Birr Foundation Headquarters inverts the relationship of skin versus support, simultaneously protecting, revealing, and embodying the activity within. Ultimately the building offers a new paradigm for high-rise design in hot/dry climates through an integrated response to context, climate and culture.
All Architectural Review / MIPIM award recipients will be honored at a conference on March 17, 2010.
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