KAPSARC community mosque by HOK

KAPSARC community mosque


The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in Riyadh, Saudi, Arabia, has achieved the first LEED for Homes Certification outside of North America, marking its leadership in sustainable residential design in the Middle East.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

This visionary energy research hub, located between King Khalid International Airport and the city of Riyadh, attracts researchers and staff members from throughout the world. The residential community provides a premier environment that helps KAPSARC attract and retain world-class research and development talent.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

The design includes 10 community buildings, a 200-house residential community (including 11 house types) and four main utility buildings as the spiritual center of the KAPSARC residential community, the community masjid, or mosque, has high visibility within the site.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

This residential community supports KAPSARC’s international staff and their families. A series of outdoor courtyards provide a formal progression toward the mosque, located in the middle of the site’s central green space.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

The courtyards have an axial alignment toward Mecca and the Kaaba. Surrounded by a reflective pool, the mosque is elevated three feet above the adjacent outdoor spaces. This pool glows at night, creating the illusion that the building is levitating over water.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

Worshipers enter the mosque by climbing floating stone steps and traversing a glass bridge over the reflective pool. As a monolithic core perforated with a pattern of glowing windows and surrounded by glass, the mosque’s appearance changes from day to night.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

During the day, the shadows from the complex mullion patterns travel over the inner stone facade, creating a dynamic experience that varies by season. At night, the glass box acts like a lantern washed with light at the bottom and punctuated with points of light near the top.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

The interior is an interplay of shade and shadows, viewed through the lens and technological interpretation of a traditional mashrabiya screen wall. Wrapping all four walls and the ceiling, the screen glows with the natural light of the punched windows and skylights, creating a bright, modern interior.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

Layers of scale overlap on the mashrabiya walls, while the ceiling has a pure, traditional pattern. Located adjacent to the mosque, the 115-foot-tall minaret tower mirrors the patterns of the mosque’s facade and facilitates the daily calls to prayer. Source by HOK.

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Architects: HOK
Size: 10,225 sq. ft. / 950 sq. m.
Year: 2014
Award: 2014 Religious Art & Architecture

KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK
KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK
KAPSARC community mosque
Photo © HOK
KAPSARC community mosque
Rendering © HOK

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