RITA

A Twenty-First Century Cultural Center

By Matthias Hollwich

Status  DESIGNED 2020

Type  CULTURAL

Location  RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA

Client  ROYAL INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS

Size  5,000 FT2

Scope  CONCEPT

The Royal Institute of Traditional Arts (RITA) was seeking a twenty-first century building to house its progressive educational curriculum. The building was to be aligned with The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Plan, which promotes the arts, education, and culture in Riyadh. HWKN developed the master plan for Riyadh Art, a core component of Vision 2030, and so RITA became a natural addition to this vital movement.

RITA will become home to new theory and music classrooms, performing arts spaces, labs, creative spaces, research centers and a library, a theatre, and individual studios. The building itself needed to express the creative energy that will occur on the inside, so HWKN developed a structure that organically conveys progress and modernity, but also one that naturally invites people inside. The entryway is carved into the stone blocks and an archway is formed, showing the way in while also providing a welcoming shade for all who enter. The classic shape of the building maximizes the interior space for the different programming inside, while it also becomes an anchor for the developing neighborhood that become home to a vibrant community of arts and culture.