The Abdulrahman Al Sudairy Cultural Centre (AACC) is hosting an international open competition for the redevelopment of the existing Dar Al-Uloum Public Library and surrounding campus located in Sakaka, Al Jouf Region. The call for a redevelopment stems from a desire to reinvigorate new life into the library in order to make the Centre once again a meaningful public place to promote learning and community engagement.
Like so many institutions of intellectual and cultural value, such as publishing houses, newspaper companies, and universities, the library finds itself on a precipice at the dawn of a digital era. As digital technology proliferates the means with which people access and share information, libraries no longer attract visitors solely through the accumulation of books. Libraries are expanding their role to increasingly function as community and/or cultural centers.
Accordingly, the Dar Al-Uloum Initiative aims to rethink the library’s functions and transform the interior of Dar Al-Uloum from a storage space for books, to a more open and flexible social space. Dar Al-Uloum aspires to become a pit stop for cultural flow and activity, where people can gain access diverse activities such as: lectures, conferences, meetings, reading clubs, art exhibits, workshops, film festivals and work spaces.
As the headquarters for the AACC organization, the library has symbolic significance both being the first development and for its prominent location along a major artery of the City of Sakaka. Dar Al-Uloum Library is just one part of a larger vision of public infrastructure within the region, to provide engaging programs and services to the local community. In Sakaka, the collection of infrastructure includes the Al Rahmaniyah Mosque, Al Rahmaniah Primary and Secondary Schools and Al Nusl Hotel.
In addition to bringing the library up to date in terms of programing and services, the aim is to connect these currently isolated establishments in order to form a holistic campus. The themes of connectivity and efficiency should be carried throughout the design proposals in order to maximize the community and educational spaces and consolidate collections. Energy efficiency and sensitivity to cultural and human comfort are additional factors that the schemes shall address in technically and economically feasible proposals.
The intent of the competition is to select a design team to enter into a contract of Design Development and Implementation Phase, which is to be developed in accordance to the submitted Schematic Design proposal. Design proposals should aim to renovate and rehabilitate the existing library and to incorporate elements of the old to be preserved in the new design.
The competition to redesign the Dar Al-Uloum library will support AACC to continue serving its mission to provide interactive cultural and informative programs and services to the local community.