• Creatives Now Culture Places
  • 08:18

Ithra: A House For the World

An ultramodern concept inspired by a simple arrangement of stones won architectural firm Snøhetta the international competition to design the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, or Ithra, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Open to the public, Ithra’s site alongside historic Dammam No. 7, the country’s first major oil well, symbolizes its role as a source of energy of a different kind: human energy, powered
by creativity and sparked by architecture that embraces past, present and future. Named both for the founder of Saudi Arabia and an Arabic word meaning enrichment, Ithra offers museums for science, natural history and traditional and contemporary art; theaters for music, drama and cinema; labs for ideas in technology and design; programs for youth in stem subjects and reading—and at its heart, a luminous library, where the story of Ithra begins.

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