Blending traditional Arab house design with modern
technologies, its imposing yet box-like exterior reveals little of the splendors inside
the Arab Organizations Headquarters Building. A massive, inhuman gray
cube of granite covering 54,000 square meters, dotted with deep-set, slanted windows on
each face, confronts the visitor from several kilometers away. This silent, austere facade
In a climate where daytime temperatures can reach 50°
C, heat and light posed critical design challenges. The virtually maintenance-free
rough stone and granite exterior creates a natural sand trap. Windows on each face
of the building are deeply recessed and angled to offer indirect sunlight. In addition to
extensive underground parking, parking pavilions are erected by
the front fountain for VIP visitors.
In keeping with Arab architectural custom, the orientation of
the building is entirely inward. In a generally hot and hostile environment, high exterior
walls surrounding an inner courtyard, or hoche, offer privacy and protection from the
sun's intense rays without forfeiting a feeling of airy openness.
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