At King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, architects created a gorgeous, white, modern take on a lighthouse.

It rises 60 meters into the sky out of the harbor at the Red Sea.

Inside, a shady area provides space for the university community to gather and host events.

Designed to withstand the grueling desert sun, the building cools itself naturally, taking in ocean breezes through its lattice-like frame.

The frame pushes hot, stale air through the structure’s top.

2013-04-29

Co.Exist

This Majestic Lighthouse Cools Itself In The Hot Saudi Sun

Rising on the shores of the Red Sea, the Kaust Beacon keeps the air inside liveable with just some clever thermodynamics.

At a symbolic level, a university is meant to be a beacon for those seeking wisdom. At King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, architects reinterpreted that idea abstractly with a gorgeous, white, modern take on a lighthouse, rising 60 meters into the sky out of the harbor at the Red Sea, where the university sits.

According to the website of Australian design team Urban Art Projects, the look of the Kaust Beacon was inspired by "ancient Arabic maritime traditions," and was built out of pre-cast concrete blocks, which are hexagonally shaped at the base, but slowly morph into elliptical spheres.

Inside, a shady area provides space for the university community to gather and host events. Designed to withstand the grueling desert sun, the building cools itself naturally, taking in ocean breezes through its lattice-like frame, which push hot, stale air through the structure’s top.

The beacon, completed in 2009, has since become an icon of the university.

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4 Comments

  • Reina Carpeso

    It's amazing how a huge budget can make any absurd idea into reality.

  • Joy Dinampo

    In my opinion, I'd say "Wow". Structures like these never fail to amaze me. Especially if the design has it's own purpose. Really awesome.

  • Diego

    I hope this senseless, shallow and generic architecture never gets to dominate the global architectural panorama. Parametricisim is founded on very complex bases and is actually very difficult to execute properly, this is plain crap.