menu

Calligraphy-Inspired Complex Creates Architectural Poetry In Saudi Arabia

Calligraphy-Inspired Complex Creates Architectural Poetry In Saudi Arabia
Design

Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo has proposed a complex in Madinah that is inspired by Arabic calligraphy and the Qur'an.

Daniela Walker
  • 17 june 2014

The Noble Qur’an Oasis competition was an architectural competition to design a complex in the Madinah region of Saudi Arabia. The designs entered by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo envisaged a series of interconnected buildings that, when viewed from a bird’s eye view, makes up an abstract interpretation of Arabic calligraphy.

mecanoo-noble-quran-oasis-al-madinah-saudi-arabia2.jpg

Mecanoo reinterpreted the formal calligraphy of Arabic into interlocking, fluid buildings that create a plethora of public and private spaces. As well as being inspired by calligraphy, the design took inspiration from the Qur’an – the holy book of Islam after which the center is named. The proposal states that the following passage was Mecanoo’s starting point:

He cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so it would not move under you, and rivers and pathways so that hopefully you would be guided.
(Qur’an, 16:15)

Mountains are important symbols through the writings of Islam and mentioned often in the Qur’an. Indeed, the holy book states Muhammed received his first revelation within a mountain cave. Mecanoo sought to reference this idea of a mountainous range when visitors first come upon the complex with the undulating, high walls in front of them. They then enter the complex and it ‘reveals itself as a vessel for the knowledge of the Qur’an’ according to the proposal.

mecanoo-noble-quran-oasis-al-madinah-saudi-arabia3.jpg

The design also considered the unique landscape within which the Noble Qur’an Center would be situated. Madinah is a northwestern region that is close to the ocean and lies in a fertile oasis. The loops of the buildings provide isolated outdoor spaces throughout the complex, that are small to avoid too much penetration from the powerful desert sun. The buildings following the learning of traditional Arab buildings, which are often built in clusters to provide protection from the heat and harsh elements.

mecanoo-noble-quran-oasis-al-madinah-saudi-arabia4.jpg

While the Mecanoo proposal did not win out, the designs are an example of how traditional inspirations can create novel solutions. Not only was it envisaged as a grand complex, but when viewed from a above, a poetic sculpture that harmonizes outdoor and indoor spaces.

Mecanoo

[h/t] Designboom

Design
Trending

Lancôme's Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Advertising
Arts & Culture Yesterday

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

Travel Yesterday

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Building Tomorrow

See All
Social Media Yesterday

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Yesterday

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids

Related Expert

Lucas Neumann

Fututre of Work, Work & Business, Design

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

Experiential Marketing Yesterday

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Watch The World’s Tallest Building Become An LED Display

Burj Khalifa gives a backstage look at how the transformation came to be

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Travel Yesterday

Boeing Wants To Make Your Flight Better With Cloud And Star Projections

The manufacturer is trying to patent a projection system that would allow them to project images onto a plane's interior surfaces

Latin America Yesterday

Colombians Teach Dance To Fund Students’ Education

Chocó to Dance is a platform that shows you how to replicate popular Latin dances to help create scholarships for local students

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX on why employee fulfillment is a journey and not a destination

Culture Yesterday

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World’s Largest Open-Air Gallery

Tiger Beer and a neighborhood-minded nonprofit celebrate and promote New York's creative spirit by beautifying 100 security gates

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Technology Yesterday

How Technology Can Save The World By Saving Time

PSFK attends the Social Good Summit 2016 to see how new tech is changing the world for the better

Travel Yesterday

Marriott’s Gravity Room Installation Gives Travelers A New Perspective

The luxury hotel chain's #MGravityRoom invites visitors to snap and share pictures of its inverted set up

No search results found.