Saudi Arabia just released the very first photographs of the world's largest women-only university. Designed by Perkins+Will with Dar Al-Handasah, Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) is an elegant 2,000-acre campus equipped with state-of-the-art educational facilities for a population of 60,000 students. Located in Riyadh, the massive campus merges traditional Arabic architecture with contemporary, sustainable design, with the majority of its buildings seeking LEED certification.
A beacon of progressive values, Princess University consists of eight colleges and 800 buildings. Established in 1970, the self-contained University City received a modern upgrade starting in 2009. Led by Perkins+Will and Dar Al-Handasah, hundreds of architects and engineers worked around the clock to complete the massive and complex project in 25 months, a record construction time in Saudi Arabia.
Sustainable and modern, the world’s largest woman-only campus features recycled steel, metal and curtain walls. Buildings were carefully positioned to maximize daylight for energy efficiency. Last year, the university unveiled the world’s largest solar thermal plant on campus, a nearly 9-acre solar rooftop system that cements the university’s name as the most sustainable campus in all of Saudi. In addition, four campus buildings have thus far received LEED Gold certification.
The beautiful campus embodies both a strong, yet feminine aesthetic. Mashrabiya, intricate Arabic latticework, adds a beautiful traditional element throughout the campus. Tranquil reflective pools and fountains line long pathways and lush vegetation frame large white buildings to complete the look of a serene and beautiful campus.
Images via Bill Lyons, Dar Al-Handasah