D. Q. Celebration Hall

Third Prize


Shortlisted competition design to create a new celebration hall and receiving space for the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh, based on the principles of Arabic design.
This celebration hall creates a venue for men to celebrate formal weddings. Labics’ design proposal draws from traditional Arabic design and culture to create an unmistakeably contemporary architecture. The design of the hall is based on two principles: the hierarchically structured, geometric and well-organised space of a typical mosque, and the inviting, enveloping and flexible space of a traditional Arab tent. By bringing these two ideas together, the building combines an inviting public character with a more intimate and private dimension.
As in the best Arab tradition, the design is governed by a strong geometry that unifies structural, spatial and decorative elements. This rigorous pattern defines all aspects of the design, from the large roof structure to the detail of single decorative elements. As users move throughout the building they are accompanied by variations in density of the structural pattern and the intensity of daylight penetrating the building. The main hall has a public, open character with plenty of light, while the majlis and dining hall are darker, the structural pattern densifying to provide more intimacy. The control and filtering of this natural light is fundamental to the design, in order to reduce direct radiation but also increase the spatial quality and comfort of the more intimate internal spaces.
The entire structure is made of steel covered with sprayed concrete, while the interior walls, some decoration and skylights are made from timber. The façade is created of two layers – an internal glass envelope enclosed by a bronze brise soleil.

Client: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, High Commission for the development of Arriyadh
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Programme: Celebration Hall
Status: Design competition
Dates: 2011
Area: 10.580 sqm
Cost: 108.500.000 euro
Design: Labics (Maria Claudia Clemente, Francesco Isidori)
Project team: Leonardo Consolazione, Billy Erhard, Elisa Frisetti, Piergiorgio Loconte, Dominique Rethans
Model: Modelab
Renderings: Federico Pitzalis
Video: Piero Perilli
Consultants: Structural engineering, services and cost estimation: Favero & Milan ingegneria

International competition – Third Prize