Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has won a competition to design the Urban Heritage Administration Centre in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

The competition was launched in 2015. The centre will be key to the on-going works to preserve Diriyah’s historic UNESCO world heritage listed site, continuing restoration programmes throughout the 120km Wadi Hanifah valley.

"The design of the centre's facilities has been arranged around an atrium and includes four scooped green oases within its solid facade."

A permanent exhibition gallery, a libaray, lecture hall, and educational spaces will also be included, as well as space for the scientific institution, which carries out field research on many archaeological sites in the area.

The design of the centre's facilities has been arranged around an atrium and includes four scooped green oases within its solid facade. On closer investigation, the facade indicates a perforated outer skin, which protects the interior from solar gain while maintaining visual connections with the natural surroundings.

The centre will also serve as the permanent headquarters for the Heritage Museum.

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Image: ZHA to design Urban Heritage Administration Centre in Saudi Arabia. Photo: courtesy of Zaha Hadid.