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OIC Headquarters, Jeddah

The headquarters of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference are designed as a clear and shining symbol of this huge international authority, which combines a modern understanding of Islamic culture with deeply felt appreciation of its roots. The two parts of the complex, the Garden and the Tower, both refer to the historical tradition of great Islamic architecture while also presenting a breathtaking modern structure that incorporates many ecological features.

The 40,000m² site in the heart of city will be covered entirely by one floating, rippling roof reminiscent of a sand dune landscape. This is punctured in a 3D geometric pattern by glazed openings, which contain gardens of luxurious yet drought-resistant vegetation. From the very centre of the site rises the 162m-high vertical tower, a smooth, round column designed to look as if it is spun from golden light. From afar, the golden surface of the perforated mesh facade will gleam night and day as a symbolic beacon of light, a shimmering new landmark for the city. The tower is a historic reference to the great minarets of the Islamic world, a strong visual link with the past can be seen as a rainbow spanning the years, while its fresh interpretation here emphasises the structure’s modernity.

Running through the centre of the tower is an atrium in the shape of an Islamic star. At noon, the sun shines through directly down into the hall, and there is no shadow cast outside. At the base of the tower the large entrance hall contains a 26m-high dome. As a new interpretation of the symbolic universe, the ceiling design takes the classic geometric star pattern and separates it into tridimensional layers that come into alignment only as one reaches its exact central point.   

As a whole, the Garden and the Tower interweave homages to great Islamic culture while focusing them into a new, modern perspective. A dramatic yet simple aesthetic blends seamlessly with intelligent functionality to create an outstanding global symbol for the OIC.