Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Photo © Richard Bryant
Photo © Richard Bryant
Photo © Richard Bryant
Photo © Richard Bryant
Photo © Richard Bryant
Photo © Richard Bryant
Photo © Richard Bryant
Photo © Richard Bryant
Architects
Henning Larsen
Address
Nasseriya Street, 11124 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Year
1984
Client
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Gross floor area
85,000 m2

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is a modern office building with a number of specially constructed rooms for social functions. Its introvert exterior as well as paradisiac interior reflect the Islamic architectural tradition of the Middle East.

The building design origins in the quadratic shape of the classical Arabic house and is adjusted to fit a triangular lot surrounded by modern infrastructure and to face Mecca. The building stands on a large plateau and appears very closed from the outside, whereas the inside opens to a diversity of small and large, intimate and monumental rooms with fountains and luscious atriums.

The large simple white interior wall surfaces are counterbalanced by the building's richly patterned marble floors that constitute the main ornamentation. The atmosphere of the rooms is one of serenity and varies with changing angles of lighting, soft splashes of the fountains and light that changes with the sun over the course of the day and the year.

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