Snohetta to design Royal Diriyah Opera House in Saudi Arabia

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Royal Diriyah Opera House

Snohetta has proposed the Royal Diriyah Opera House in Saudi Arabia. The 46,000 sqm project will seat 3,500 people with a 2000-seat opera theatre, a 450-seat adaptable, and a 450-seat multipurpose theatre.

The project is expected to open to the public in 2028. The opera house will be built by Diriyah Company and operated by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.

Snohetta’s design is inspired by the linear forms, local crafts, and desert environment of the surrounding area, including the dry Wadi riverbeds. Snohetta has worked with the Riyadh-based Syn Architects and local artists.

The region has a distinctive natural environment that has historically supported the growth of oasis communities in a series of towns, hamlets, and villages. These communities utilized the Najdi style of vernacular architecture, which predominantly features mud-brick structures that are closely clustered to provide a consistent shade.

Royal Diriyah Opera House

According to Snohetta, “The project is designed to achieve compliance with the highest environmental regulations by considering water conservation, lighting, building orientation, and thermal comfort strategies that reduce unnecessary energy and water wastage. Utilizing open spaces and natural lighting efficiently have all been considered in the design.”

Different methods will be used to decrease the amount of carbon in the concrete and steel structures. Moreover, the roof of the biggest building will be designed to support the installation of photovoltaic panels, which will make use of the high solar exposure and produce clean energy on-site or for the grid. Specific areas will incorporate chilled ceiling panels and displacement ventilation to achieve radiant cooling.

Royal Diriyah Opera House

Project Info

Architect: Snøhetta
Collaborators: Plan A Consultants, Syn Architects, JLL, Penguin Cube, Tricon, Arup, Saudi Diyar, Buro Happold, Schlaich Bergermann Partner, Theatre Projects, Spec Studio, Evergreen Adcon, Fractal Landscape, Transsolar, Maha Mullah
Location: Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Duration: 2023—2028
Renders: Binyan

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