Ministry of Water and Electricity, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2004 - 2005
The design for Riyadh's new Ministry of Water and Electricity is to set an example for sustainable and environmentally friendly handling of water and energy resources in the 21st century. The design‘s fundamental principles respond to these challenges in various ways. Its compact design and vast, overhanging roof provides ample shade and reduces the amount of sunlight the building absorbs. Interior landscaped atriums help to improve the microclimate and reduce the need for air conditioning units. Although the roof covers the atriums, they are bright enough not to require artificial lighting. The reduced elevation area helps also to minimize building costs and subsequent operating costs. The design of the Ministry of Water and Electricity is a structure of pronounced form, able to assert itself among the surrounding buildings, yet does not dominate the neighborhood. On the outside, the structure appears as a three-story building located on a pedestal above its parking garage. The building interprets the desert architectural tradition by using Arabic shade facades and shady internal courtyards but with modern means, thus proving itself an adequate location for the Ministry of Water and Electricity.
Illuminated building by night