Hayy Jameel, Saudi Arabia’s dedicated home for the arts – designed by architecture studio waiwai – received the MENA region’s ultimate accolade in architecture, interiors and product design, the Architectural Digest Design Awards 2022 for the Best Cultural Project category.
Hayy Jameel opened to the public in December 2021. The name of the complex references an Arabic word for neighbourhood, denoting its convivial and collaborative nature and its intent to bring together a wide range of creative disciplines in one destination.
The creative complex’s design has received multiple architectural accolades, including Gold in the Hong Kong Design Awards, Silver in the New York Design Awards, the Honour Award for Exceptional Design by the American Institute of Architects (Middle East chapter), and nominations for the 2A Continental Architectural Award and the London Design Awards.
With the intent to be open to the city, Hayy Jameel provides a much-needed space for audiences of all ages and backgrounds to interact with art, film, music, architecture, performance, the culinary arts and more. Hayy Jameel’s recognition as Best Cultural Project at the Architectural Digest Design Awards 2022 acknowledges its critical position in the community and its proposal for an alternative idea of public space.
waiwai’s design for, and Art Jameel’s programming of, Hayy Jameel makes it the first institution of its kind in Saudi Arabia. Alongside the museum-like, laboratory space Hayy Arts and education platforms Hayy Explorers, Hayy Learning and Hayy Studios, is Hayy Cinema, Saudi Arabia’s first independent audiovisual centre, designed by Jeddah-based architects Bricklab, which opens to the public on December 6, 2022.
Fenaa Hayy, a multi-purpose space for performances, workshops and talks opens onto Saha, a central community courtyard underpinned by philosophies of sustainability and adaptability. In their design for this project, waiwai articulated a sensitivity to local conditions, a close reading of the immediate context, and an invitation to step out of the everyday, even for an afternoon.
The space is specifically designed to foster open-ended dialogue and interactions, and to create the possibility for people to make new connections between art and everyday life.
Wael Al Awar, waiwai Founding Partner and Principal Architect, said, “For us, the opportunity to design Hayy Jameel as a unique art space and centre for creativity in Jeddah was a privilege. The Hayy Jameel project offered us a context to approach and learn from while opening the city and the community to new possibilities.” Source and photos Courtesy of Art Jameel.