Creation Story Museum

Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia / 2018

The Creation Story Museum, a 20,000 square meter project, aims to integrate a cultural complex development to the heart of Al Madinah Al Munawwara city, home to Islamic prophet Mohammed’s burial site and the prophet’s mosque, second holiest site in Islam. Located south in proximity of the Prophet’s Mosque, “the land of Alsafia”, was once a garden rich with indigenous palm trees offering playful shadows to enhance its harsh and arid climate. 

The dense urban fabric surrounding the site includes high activity and encounters local and global visitors throughout the entire year. The location of the plot has a direct axis to Al Salam gate of the Prophet’s mosque which magnifies its significance.  

The design approach originates from studying the city’s history, aiming at reviving and restoring its identity in a contemporary urban setting. Looking at Al Madinah’s history which was a walled city that expanded over time, X-Architects steered the design in a direction that revisits the past and reinterprets it in a progressive methodology that matches today’s aspirations while remaining rooted in the rich cultural heritage. A thick wall element is employed to buffer the project from its busy context, layer the visitors experience, and protect the core of the project; a reminiscent adaptation of Al Madinah’s historical palm gardens.

Traditionally, the city’s fabric portrayed harmony and integration between the natural and built environments. More recently, the city lost most of its green spaces in favour to drought and rapid urban growth. The proposed design pays homage to Al Madinah’s authentic landscape and offers visitors a quiet place of refuge within the busy surrounding urban context. It demonstrates the city’s identity and history and touches on the memories of the users and the place.

Water, being foundational to life is expressed as a tying element between different project components and an interpretation of the existing well on site. Earth, the vessel of all seeds, is depicted through a series of stepped planters honouring the Palm and bringing life back to the site which was once a rich garden. Light, an element of play and a crucial component of the spatial experience is used to revive the lively playful shadows “the land of Alsafia” had in the past.

Continuing to embrace the city’s history thorough details and textures, the external façade has a distinctive and irregular pattern which was a result of evident existence of volcanic mountains in Madinah city. Basaltic stone is used as the main material across the façade, internal walls and floors to depict the nature of the city.  

The museum is comprised of three main components; a public garden, a cultural museum and a commercial component. As part of the cultural museum, the concept falls under the theme of The Story of Creation in Islamic culture. This is devised conceptually and spatially into five chapters and rooms: Pre-creation, The beginning of creation, The history of creation, The end of the universe, Absolute justice & ultimate mercy.

 

design team

Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Mohammed Abu Farha, Piyush Bajpai Helene Daher, Yazeed Obeid, Jacky Tang, Leslie Tan, Luis Martins, Haia Machfij, Arvin Padayo, Emerson Angeles, Dixie Parcutela, Zeina Derawan, Ruby Muhandes, Farah Abu Hamza, Khaled Abushahla Imran Rashid, Abdul Samad, Saji Thomas, Eyad Zarafeh

  • client

    Al Madinah Al Munawarah Development Authority

  • program

    Museum & Mixed Use

  • built up area

    20,821 sqm

  • scope‎

    Architecture

  • status

    Under Construction

Creation Story Museum

Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia / 2018

The Creation Story Museum, a 20,000 square meter project, aims to integrate a cultural complex development to the heart of Al Madinah Al Munawwara city, home to Islamic prophet Mohammed’s burial site and the prophet’s mosque, second holiest site in Islam. Located south in proximity of the Prophet’s Mosque, “the land of Alsafia”, was once a garden rich with indigenous palm trees offering playful shadows to enhance its harsh and arid climate. 

The dense urban fabric surrounding the site includes high activity and encounters local and global visitors throughout the entire year. The location of the plot has a direct axis to Al Salam gate of the Prophet’s mosque which magnifies its significance.  

The design approach originates from studying the city’s history, aiming at reviving and restoring its identity in a contemporary urban setting. Looking at Al Madinah’s history which was a walled city that expanded over time, X-Architects steered the design in a direction that revisits the past and reinterprets it in a progressive methodology that matches today’s aspirations while remaining rooted in the rich cultural heritage. A thick wall element is employed to buffer the project from its busy context, layer the visitors experience, and protect the core of the project; a reminiscent adaptation of Al Madinah’s historical palm gardens.

Traditionally, the city’s fabric portrayed harmony and integration between the natural and built environments. More recently, the city lost most of its green spaces in favour to drought and rapid urban growth. The proposed design pays homage to Al Madinah’s authentic landscape and offers visitors a quiet place of refuge within the busy surrounding urban context. It demonstrates the city’s identity and history and touches on the memories of the users and the place.

Water, being foundational to life is expressed as a tying element between different project components and an interpretation of the existing well on site. Earth, the vessel of all seeds, is depicted through a series of stepped planters honouring the Palm and bringing life back to the site which was once a rich garden. Light, an element of play and a crucial component of the spatial experience is used to revive the lively playful shadows “the land of Alsafia” had in the past.

Continuing to embrace the city’s history thorough details and textures, the external façade has a distinctive and irregular pattern which was a result of evident existence of volcanic mountains in Madinah city. Basaltic stone is used as the main material across the façade, internal walls and floors to depict the nature of the city.  

The museum is comprised of three main components; a public garden, a cultural museum and a commercial component. As part of the cultural museum, the concept falls under the theme of The Story of Creation in Islamic culture. This is devised conceptually and spatially into five chapters and rooms: Pre-creation, The beginning of creation, The history of creation, The end of the universe, Absolute justice & ultimate mercy.

 

design team

Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Mohammed Abu Farha, Piyush Bajpai Helene Daher, Yazeed Obeid, Jacky Tang, Leslie Tan, Luis Martins, Haia Machfij, Arvin Padayo, Emerson Angeles, Dixie Parcutela, Zeina Derawan, Ruby Muhandes, Farah Abu Hamza, Khaled Abushahla Imran Rashid, Abdul Samad, Saji Thomas, Eyad Zarafeh

  • client

    Al Madinah Al Munawarah Development Authority

  • program

    Museum & Mixed Use

  • built up area

    20,821 sqm

  • scope‎

    Architecture

  • status

    Under Construction