Client: Art Jameel

Surface: 300m2 total

Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Status: Competition Entry

Year: 2019

Culture is beyond the spectacle and the creative product; it is our intellect that we pour into the making. What is a cinema but an iconic space of culture and creative know-how? What is cultural infrastructure but a translation of a program through local innovation? How can a Saudi cinema accommodate its public while reflecting the mission of Art Jameel and the sophisticated Saudi skills being valued, revalued, preserved and pushed forward? Here is a design of a collaboration that makes the best of available talent, using distinguished skills to innovate contemporary results.

The requirements of a cinema dictate its material needs; as sound needs to be absorbed and re-oriented, the need for shape, depth and angles invites us to study patterns and delve into three-dimensional experimentations. The Art Jameel school for traditional arts is a great place to learn about genuine Saudi craftsmanship. This cultural asset can be invested beyond notions of heritage and re-appropriated into a contemporary version. We can target methodology without settling for standard shapes. We can research geometry while opening up to unexpected patterns as per the program’s technical constraints and obligations.