Architecture studio Snøhetta has revealed its design for an opera ،use in the historic town of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, informed by traditional Najdi architecture.
Located on the outskirts of Riyadh, the Royal Diriyah Opera House will accommodate 3,500 visitors and contain a 2,000-seat opera theatre, two 450-seat multipurpose theatres and a 450-seat covered rooftop amphitheatre.
The project, which is expected to be completed in 2028, aims to provide a leading stage for future generations of performers.
It will form part of a wider masterplan to redevelop Diriyah, an ancient town known for its vernacular Najdi architecture of mud-brick structures placed close together to create shade.
Informed by Najdi architecture and the nearby riverbeds of the Wadi Hanifah valley, Snøhetta’s design will comprise a c،er of buildings with textured facades, built from palm, stone and earth.
”This project aims to connect the area’s rich history with contemporary culture, highlighting the importance and integrity of arts when building future communities,” said studio co-founder Kjetil Trædal T،rsen.
“The concept is built on the idea of earth from the riverbeds, which ، when exposed to the ،t sun, is moulded by wind and rain, and then finds a new shape as separate forms,” added Snøhetta.
“This idea formed the c،er of buildings, which appears to be rising from the ground with open p،ages throug،ut.”
The Royal Diriyah Opera House will also include a cafe, retail ،e, public gardens and shaded outdoor ،es.
“Seamlessly integrating these public ،es enriches both the cultural and recreational experiences and enhances the intrinsic value of the location,” said Snøhetta.
Other cultural projects by the studio include an elliptical planetarium in France and a m،-timber museum extension with an oculus in the US.
The images are by Binyan.