Through a highly sensitive planning and design effort, Ayers Saint Gross transformed this 58-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site into a living museum and world-class cultural destination. The centerpiece of the heritage site is the preservation and interpretation of Salwa Palace, Atturaif’s greatest architectural relic and the original home of the Al Saud ruling dynasty. Though originally programmed as a single building, the design team split the program into three linked experiences to welcome, inspire, and educate visitors. Within the site, a visitor center, farm, shaded walkways, exhibition galleries, signage, and multimedia have been carefully designed to fit within the existing ruins.
To integrate the contemporary architecture into the ruins as sensitively as possible, the project team utilized laser scanning technology to record archaeological features in exacting detail. Artifacts were digitally tagged and measurements transferred into BIM models allowing planners and designers to work around the existing ruins with precision. An accessible, elevated walkway guides users through the site with stops at interpretive nodes to highlight important features along the route. The museum serves as the dramatic conclusion to the elevated walkway.
This year, Ayers Saint Gross projects were honored with more than 20 design awards, including eight AIA awards for work […]
Ayers Saint Gross currently counts two AIA chapter presidents in its ranks: Ann Powell (Baltimore) and Dan Henderer (Middle East).