Dar Al Uloum Library, Riyadh

Category: Unbuilt Projects

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Site area – 29906 sqm; Built up area – 25925 sqm

Knowledge translates to ilm in Arabic. The islamic concept of ilm is multifarious, embracing theory, action and education as subsets and manifestations of knowledge. In concept, it extends beyond the mere acquisition of knowledge to include its transmission and synthesis. Uloom translates to knowledge(s) i.e. the plural sense of ilm. Our design recentres this plurality of knowledge and re-envisions the Dar Al Uloom as a social oasis of learning, creativity and culture.

It imagines a fertile place of constant conception, generation and transmission of knowledge(s), where minds are enabled to meet, seek and co-create.

The pursuit of knowledge is enabled and enhanced by academic and social interaction. The library is a premises, a site and a precinct devoted to the pursuit of knowledge. To that end it needs to play an academic, productive and a social role. It is our intention to develop Dar Al Uloom as a space of study, a site of practice and a precinct of connectivity. Our intent was to design an architecture that recentres the human experience in the pursuit of knowledge at the Dar Al Uloom Public Library by invigorating its publicness, expanding its engagement, streamlining operations, diversifying its collections of knowledge objects and enabling a multiplicity of their use.