In accordance with the original Atkins master plan and concept for the Centre as a landmark building and a focal point for the Prince Sultan Cultural City, LCE in collaboration with Talal Kurdi Consultants have developed the design for this iconic bowl shaped auditorium, with its distinctive calligraphic design on the skin. This is augmented by a podium level park, a roof-top cafe and terrace, all of which overlooks a sky-pool featuring a water cascade into the lake below.
This iconic shape is tilted to visually reinforce the cascade pouring from the sky-pool into the lake, and is placed on a podium to accentuate this tilt. The podium is cut back towards the lake to direct the eye to the iconic bowl shape and to provide lakeside terraces accessed from the foyer of the building. The remaining part of the podium is disguised by grassy banks with footpaths at gentle gradients leading you to the main Park at podium level, interrupted only by entrances to the facility.
The bowl accommodates the auditorium and is accessed at grade from the entrance foyer at ground level which accommodates most areas of the brief. This results in a simple and highly legible plan. This foyer takes the form of a central street with views of the bowl through the sky lights, wrapping around the auditorium for access to, and affording views of, the lake. All the other activities are accessed off this foyer which ensures easy movement and simple way-finding through the building.
An important feature of the building is the podium level Park, providing a variety of spaces for events, entertainment, relaxation, and discovery. The Centre as a whole is designed to be contemporary, accessible, welcoming and conducive to family orientated, lively and participatory events and to become a centre of excellence, promoting learning and the Arts, creating a “wellness environment”, and establsihing a fitting tribute to the aspirations and vision of Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.