A&S Architects
a building’s façade to keep out the heat but let in the light

CAMELODROME COMPLEX, AL SHARURAH, KSA

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  • Prize : a building’s façade to keep out the heat but let in the light

The power of the sun can dominate life causing buildings to be monolithic in order to block out its heat. The sun can also be powerful in lighting internal spaces through the smallest of openings. Designing a building’s façade to keep out the heat but let in the light can be a simple mechanical exercise of calculated shade or it can be an enriching opportunity to sculpt light and shadow. The deep contrast within a building as patterns of light fall on floors and walls can enrich an interior more than any decoration applied by man.

From the earliest forms of settlement, the natural environment of KSA has shaped its culture and architecture. The most dominant element is the solar cycle of the day and night and the seasonal changes in ambient temperature. Whilst a pleasant environment exists for much of the year, extremes of heat have caused buildings to become inward focused to provide protection from the sun and hot winds. The sun also defines the landscape as it rises golden on the extending horizons of smooth sand or the ocean. Its glare brings objects into sharp relief and the natural landscape is shaped by opportunities of shade and shelter. The pattern of wind-blown sand rippled over large dunes or the sparkle of the sun on the seas surface bring an intricate pattern and scale to the large land and seascape surfaces.