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King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center

  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • 2009 – TBC
  • Under Construction
  • 70,000m2
  • Site Area: 530,000 m2
  • Footprint Area: 28,500 m2

The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) is a non-profit policy research institution dedicated to finding solutions for the most effective and productive use of energy to enable economic and social progress across the globe.

KAPSARC undertakes global collaborative research to develop different sources of energy to meet the future development needs while protecting the environment and finding practical technology-enabled solutions to use energy more efficiently.

KAPSARC’s research also studies the technological, economic and environmental impacts of energy.

With the increased complexity of global energy, it is important to continuously expand the boundaries of knowledge through collaboration and research. KAPSARC is an advanced research centre that brings together the leading experts from around the world to tackle energy challenges.

The centre is characterised by its innovative design that integrates the highest standards of environmental conservation. Designed in response to its natural environment to ensure comfort for employees alongside minimising energy and resource consumption, the design works with the extreme weather conditions of the Arabian Peninsula to provide a research centre of the highest quality and energy efficiency.

The Research Building is the active nerve-centre or brain of the entire KAPSARC campus, where all threads of the centre’s activities gather together.

The primary organising strategy of the KAPSARC design is a cellular, partially modular system that integrates different departmental buildings into a single continuous ensemble with connecting communal spaces between the buildings. The modularity of the design has enabled a phased development that can be adapted in the future for changing demands, with the different chambers being large enough to allow for flexibility.

The design establishes recognisable domains within an overall ensemble of individual buildings that are separate, yet cohesive and interconnected.

The close integration of all researchers and other users of the campus is facilitated by arranging several key departments around the primary central courtyard; avoiding the traditional segregation into separate groups that is no longer conducive for modern research. The architecture encourages and promotes an active exchange between fellow researchers and visitors.

The KAPSARC building was awarded LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council.




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Director

Lars Teichmann, Charles Walker

Design Director

DaeWha Kang

Project Leaders

Fabian Hecker (Research Center); Michael Powers (Conference Center); Brian Dale / Henning Hansen (Library); Fulvio Wirz (Musalla / IT Center); Elizabeth Bishop (Facades / 2d Documentation); Saleem A. Jalil / Maria Rodero (Master Plan); Lisamarie Ambia / Judith Wahle (Interiors); Bozana Komljenovic (2d Documentation); John Randle (Specifications); John Szlachta (3d Documentation Coordinator)

Construction Leads

John Simpson (Site Associate)
Alejandro Diaz Fernandez, Brian Dale (Interiors)
Elizabeth Bishop, Michal Wojtkiewicz (Facades and Canopies)
Monika Bilska, Malgorzata Kowalczyk (Services Coordination)
Henning Hansen, Ayca Vural Cutts, Michael Powers (Structure)
Ayca Vural Cutts, Sara Criscenti (External Landscape)

Project Team

Adrian Krezlik; Alexander Palacio; Amdad Chowdhury; Amit Gupta; Anas Younes; Andres Arias Madrid; Annarita Papeschi; Aritz Moriones; Ayca Vural Cutts; Britta Knobel; Camiel Weijenberg; Carine Posner; Carlos Parraga-Botero; Claire Cahill; Claudia Dorner; DaChun Lin; Daniel Fiser; Daniel Toumine; David Doody; David Seeland; Deniz Manisali; Elizabeth Keenan; Evan Erlebacher; Fernanda Mugnaini; Garin O’Aivazian; Giorgio Radojkovic; Inês Fontoura; Jaimie-Lee Haggerty; Javier Rueda; Jeremy Tymms; Julian Jones; Jwalant Mahadevwala; Lauren Barclay; Lauren Mishkind; Malgorzata Kowalczyk; Mariagrazia Lanza; Melike Altinisik; Michael Grau; Michael McNamara; Michal Wojtkiewicz; Mimi Halova; MohammadAli Mirzaei; Mohammed Reshdan; Monika Bilska; Muriel Boselli; MyungHo Lee; Nahed Jawad; Natacha Viveiros; Navvab Taylor; Neil Vyas; Nicola McConnell; Pedro Sanchez; Prashanth Sridharan; Roxana Rakhshani; Saahil Parikh; Sara Criscenti; Sara Saleh; Seda Zirek; Shaju Nanukuttan; Shaun Farrell; Sophie Davison; Sophie Le Bienvenu; Stefan Brabetz; Stella Dourtme; Steve Rea; Suryansh Chandra; Talenia Phua Gajardo; Theodor Wender; Yu Du

Competition Team

Lisamarie Ambia, Monika Bilska, Martin Krcha, Maren Klasing, Kelly Lee, Johannes Schafelner, Judith Schafelner, Ebru Simsek, Judith Wahle, Hee Seung Lee, Clara Martins, Anat Stern, Daniel Fiser, Thomas Sonder, Kristina Simkeviciute, Talenia Phua Gajardo, Erhan Patat, Dawna Houchin, Jwalant Mahadevwala

Site Supervision Team

John Simpson (Site Associate), Anas Younes, Annarita Papeschi, Aritz moriones, Ayca Vural Cutts, Carlos Parraga-Botero, Javier Rueda, Malgorzata Kowalczyk, Michal Wojtkiewicz, Monika Bilska, Sara Criscenti, Stella Dourtme



Interior Design

Woods Bagot

Landscape Design


Lighting Design


Catering and Kitchen Design

Eastern Quay and GWP

Exhibition Design


Branding and Signage

Elmwood and Bright 3D

Library Consulting


Cost Consulting and Design Project Management

Davis Langdon