Marcelo Rossi

Arabsat - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - 2008

Year: 2008
Professional services / Tipo: Preliminary project
Dimensions:   Ceo Area 828 m2
                           Marketing sales and customer service area 585 m2
                           Technial Services (sector) 845 m2
                           Financial Services 502 m2
                           Suport Services 1021 m2
                           Building Services 1385 m2

                           TOTAL AREA NET 5166 m2

                           Vehicular Access (parking) 7600 m2



ARABSAT is a continuing-growing company, operating in satellite communications.

The company objective is to provide the spectrum of Broadcast, Telecommunications and Broadband services in the whole Arab world, Africa continent region, Europe and Far East.
The architectural project intends to identify and melt itself with Arabsat functions, putting in relief the vocation and mission of the company.

The building rises from the sand, recreating its colour tonality and sand waves.
The wavy shaped shell, looks like a desert dune and it is made by natural materials such as local stones and sand and represents a deep sign of tradition.
So the building grows out of the tradition of the place, founded on the sand and moving toward the space.

The architectural concept is based on a double purpose, representing the two faces of the same environment where the company works:

• the urban world where the building is placed: traditional, mystic, extreme for the high temperatures and the bright colours of the desert;
• the national and international world, made of radio and TV broadcasting signals, technological and modern, always tending toward an extrasensory dimension.

This dichotomy is already visible from the outside. The splits on the external shell allow to catch a fleeting glance of the modernity and technology inside.2
As a satellite, from the outside shows simplicity, but is possible to imagine the high-tech inside.
The external WALL-SHELL consists of concrete panels based on a steel structure.

It breaks apart the internal from the external environment, to create quite and privacy conditions, necessary for the company activities.
Otherwise the WALL-SHELL, broken off by horizontal and variable cuts, let to the internal environments to be reached by the daylight and, at the same time, allows the people inside to be in contact with the city around. In other words, the WALL-SHELL closes but not binds, protects but not hides, shows but not scares, expresses authority without stiffing.
The wall-shell follows a wavy flow, to go with the sand dunes landscape.

3The roof is characterized by several and different holes, with the function to bring daylight into the building, moreover creating a roof-garden that normalizes the temperature in a natural way expanding the internal spaces.

The ENTRANCE SQUARE is partially covered by a parabolic antenna shaped structure, as a visible sign of technology that configures the internal spaces of the architectural organism, up and down-linking of signals and information. It appears as a covering of the external-internal space of the entrance square, permeable to rain and air, but that filters the sunbeams to create suitable conditions for an external staying.
The parabolic antenna roof sets up access square space creating a filter and a clearing house, a mediation passing from outside to inside.
The square thermal conditions are controlled thanks to the roof screening, pools, fountains and atomized water, reducing the thermal shock from the strongly sunny external to the air-conditioned internal.
The parabolic antenna roof, also depicts the three-dimensional ARABSAT LOGO.4 The four supporting pillars represents the main four signs of the logo visible from great distance, but only foresee from below. The logo is completed by the other structure of the parabolic antenna roof, where are installed open-work steel panels to screen sunbeams.

The INTERNAL HALL, without any interruption, free and wavy like the external facade, looks like the footprint area of coverage by a satellite. The wideness and the transparencies show all the functions and the efficiency of the company to make a great impression on the visitors.



Along the hall perimeter, four steel and glass cylinders grow up. Four cylinders – as the four currently in orbit satellites of Arabsat – that connect ground and sky, bringing air and daylight to lower levels.




The CIRCULAR PATIOS are internal and glazed gardens, green oasis from where light rains.7


The circular patios are structural cylinders, made by steel frames, that follow their shape, supporting the slabs at the same time.The panel walls, footbridges, lifts and stairs are made by steel, aluminium and glass just to create an open space visible at a glance.

Of course it is possible to realize the necessary partitions and walls in the working area, using automatic LCD blinding systems, internal curtains, serigraphy on the glasses, etc.

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