The KAUST Breakwater Beacon is a striking contemporary interpretation of a lighthouse that doubles as a community gathering place. The tower, which reaches up sixty meters into the sky, has become a symbol for the local University in Saudi Arabia.
Designed by Urban Art Projects principal, Daniel Tobin, with Matthew Tobin and Jamie Perrow, the work was inspired by ancient Arabic maritime traditions, in-region artwork and architectural detailing, linking to the marine ecology of the Red Sea.
The Beacon, which stands at the entrance to the harbour, was built in pre-cast concrete blocks. The complex structure is a collection of hexagonal sections reaching up in an elliptical spire. The interior space, with the skin of the atrium creating a dappled shaded effect, is designed for communal gatherings.
It naturally cools itself using breezes and the stack effect, which sends hot air up and out while bringing cool air in from the sea. At night, the lighthouse is lit up from within and shines out through the gaps to guide nearby boats. Click through to see images of the Breakwater Beacon: