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Automotive Display Facility

Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

2016

This unusually programmed structure is designed to house a large private automobile collection and an elevated space for entertaining that capitalizes on the spectacular views of the surrounding desert and local date-farm properties. This project was developed by the client to simultaneously house the fundraising space and initial collection for what would eventually become a Riyadh Automobile Museum, possibly run as a satellite of the Musée du Louvre. Entering the desert property, guests drive through a series of complex chicane curves intended to require close attention to the act of driving and the automobile in which one arrives- ultimately ending with the car resting on the building’s internal elevator platform. The journey upwards then takes guests past the vertically organized automobile collection as they ascend to their reserved space- into which their car is laterally transferred along a mechanical tray system.  Guests then once again board the elevator platform, this time to lift them, without car, to the event space far above. As visitors step off of the elevator platform at the end of their journey, they find themselves in a multi-purpose ballroom- encased in bronze and wood paneling that uses a formal language that hints at the mechanical qualities of the automobile systems that the building is designed to house and showcase. The exterior façade also reflects these aesthetic qualities through carving and casting into a material palette that includes cast stone, glass and hydro-formed bronze-toned alloy panels, all designed and reinforced to withstand the unforgiving desert climate.