The Education Campus of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies will play an active role in the Arab region, functioning as a visionary think tank producing analyses, outreach, plans of action and reports for both the public and key decision makers. Playing a pivotal role in social change on many levels, the center’s design reflects the importance of its mission in complementing an evolving culture through the creation of a safe and respected place where a dialogue pertaining to evolution is open, thoughtful and transparent. With an integrative approach, the center’s interior and exterior spaces are thoughtfully designed to provide areas that inspire, delight and promote conversation, collaboration and exploration.
Essential elements used in the design solution are inspired by the area’s traditional urban fabric and building typology. Materials such as stone and wood – typical to the local context – are updated through a modern extrapolation of vernacular Arab architecture. The local native design is reflected through shaded latticework and stone walls featuring deep punched windows evocative of traditional design elements. A tight network of landscaped pedestrian pathways and courtyards connect people and spaces, creating a sense of community. This sensitivity in design on the campus has established strong cultural cues, breathing new life into spaces that are inspired by the local aesthetic.
The design of the buildings incorporates elements that respond to the environment, specifically addressing the issues related to solar heat gain through integrated overhangs, shaded areas and internal screens on windows. Finally, as a dramatic outward expression that sets the institute apart, Arabic calligraphy embedded within elements of the façades reflect the academic evolution of the Arab culture and language. These design motifs work to tie all elements of the project neatly together.