American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

KAFD Conference Center | SOM Case Study

AIA San Francisco, 130 Sutter Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA

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This program is a case study of the KAFD Conference Center, located in the new King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh. The Conference Center is designed as an extension of the angular desert landscape, and its organic profile and faceted skin stitch together the building and the adjacent terrain.

The state-of-the art building sets a new standard for flexible conferencing, providing a multipurpose event hall with operable walls, a 600-seat auditorium with full lecture and cinema support, and a “digital forum” approach that allows all venues to be internally and externally networked. The conference rooms are designed as immersive four-wall video environments, with walls that contain retractable projection screens allowing users to conduct virtual video meetings with the center’s other conference rooms or anywhere in the world. The conference rooms are clad in electrochromic glass permitting users to change from clear to opaque glass to control light levels and privacy. A “media cloud” in the ceiling of each conference room will have the ability to communicate with attendees’ mobile media devices, permitting wireless sharing and projection of user content in a meeting setting. Dynamic interactive signage will allow conference attendees to brand individual rooms and conference venues, and elevators are equipped with video screens that carry event information and other conference-related content.