Gallery: Zaha Hadid’s Petroleum Research Center (Ironically) Aims For L...


It may seem ironic, but even petroleum research centers can be LEED certified if they meet the critieria. Case in point: the King Abudullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC for short), designed by Zaha Hadid, is aiming for LEED Platinum. To be built in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the state of the art campus will house research and development facilities on energy and environmental exploration and analysis. We take that to read studies on better ways of finding more petroleum (which is hardly a practice we consider to be green) but at least the building itself is striving to be earth-friendly.

KAPSARC’s main building is a crystalline structure composed of modular six-sided cells with many connections between them, as well as a series of shaded outdoor spaces, gardens, and underground tunnels. Nearby, a modern library and conference center will aid in the center’s quest to become a preeminent energy research center. The KAPSARC complex will also feature a residential complex and recreational facilities for in-kingdom and expatriate researchers and their families.

As to the sustainability of the complex, a number of sustainable building techniques will be utilized in order to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The use of shading and natural ventilation will help keep indoor and outdoor spaces cool in the hot desert environment. Natural light will flood through the partial shading into interior courtyards and indoor rooms. Landscaping and building will take advantage of seasonal breezes to offer temperate zones for the comfort of residents and visitors. LED lights will be utilized throughout for more energy efficient lighting, and photovoltaics will help provide power to the complex.

Who ever said a research institute devoted to the study of fossil fuels can’t be in a green building? Still, the development would be a little more palatable had it been meant for another area of research altogether.


+ Zaha Hadid Architects


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  1. azeem1511 November 9, 2011 at 3:42 am

    I am very lucky construct this project as Sr. Electrical Inspector from Saudi Aramco

  2. MDorgham December 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Akram may I know your company name?
    I’m sales manager for middle east and our solution (Multi Media Video Wall) has been specified specifically by name, and want to send a quotation, will appreciate sending me the contact

  3. Akram December 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    am i lucky? the company which i work for has won the MEP work in the KAPSARC project at Riyadh – Saudi Arabia
    as for HOK, i agree they are a very good firm since i worked in KAUST project and it was designed by them

  4. diko November 8, 2010 at 9:30 am

    dina 3rft en da bta3 zaha 7adid
    bravooooo dina :)

  5. iqbal October 20, 2010 at 1:53 am

    I am surprised to see such a construction of KAPSARC.If I got a placement there it’s highly precious for me.Marvellous.

  6. Rasheed Zayyat May 13, 2010 at 6:53 am

    I want to receive all updated news about KAPSARC

  7. zchris1 February 19, 2010 at 9:27 am

    only because i worked on this project… half the images are designed by another firm, HOK.
    HOK completed the overall masterplan plus the residential and community areas. Zaha Hadid is the architect for the ceullular structure seen in the large pics/ top row of smaller pics.

  8. howardchungbest February 16, 2010 at 8:03 am

    A new era has come: More is Less

  9. davidwayneosedach February 11, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Who wouldn’t want to go to school there?

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