New Video Celebrates the Prismatic Complexity of Zaha Hadid Architects' KAPSARC in Saudi Arabia

German photographer Hans Georg Esch has released a new video offering sweeping footage of Zaha Hadid Architects’ King Abdullah Petroleum Studies & Research Centre (KAPSARC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 7-minute-long video celebrates the scheme’s “hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures” through interior and exterior moments.

The video's release comes weeks after the KAPSARC was shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Awards 2018 in the Completed Higher Education and Research category.

Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch
Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch

Completed in October 2017, the 70,000-square-meter scheme is dedicated to “independent research into policies that contribute to the most effective use of energy to provide social well-being across the globe.” Leading by example, KAPSARC was the first ZHA project to be awarded LEED Platinum certification by the US Green Building Council for its minimized energy and resource consumption, and form sculpted in response to the environmental conditions of the Riyadh Plateau.

Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch
Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch

KAPSARC is composed of an amalgamation of crystalline forms, orientated in response to prevailing sun and wind conditions. The structure gains in height towards the south and west, shielding internal spaces from direct sunlight, while courtyards along the north and northwest allow indirect sunlight to bathe the interior.

Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch
Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch

The scheme incorporates five structures: an Energy Knowledge Centre, Energy Computer Centre, Conference Centre with an exhibition hall and 300-seat auditorium, Research Library with archives for 100,000 volumes, and the Musalla: an inspirational place for prayer within the campus. The five buildings differ in size and organization in response to their needs, with future expansion made possible by introducing new cells to the honeycomb grid.

Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch
Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch Video still image. Image Courtesy of Hans Georg Esch

For the video's creation, Esch was aided by fellow director Oliver Schwabe, editing by Christian Becker, and music by Peter Simon.

You can learn more about the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre in our project article here.

Video via: Hans Georg Esch