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Competition: Hayy Cinema, Jeddah

Hayy Creative Hub by Ibdaa Design

Middle East arts organisation Art Jameel has launched an international contest to design Saudi Arabia’s first arthouse cinema

The single-stage competition seeks innovative proposals for a 200-seat cinema in Jeddah, which will be the first constructed in the kingdom following last year’s lifting of a 35-year cinema ban.

The winning scheme will be built inside the 17,000m² Hayy Creative Hub (pictured), designed by Dubai-based Ibdaa Architects and planned to complete in 2020. The contest comes just three months after Serie Architects of London completed a new ‘Kunsthalle-inspired’ venue for Art Jameel in Dubai.

In its brief, Art Jameel says: ‘As the first art house cinema in Saudi Arabia, the space is positioned to be unique in programme and design, and to invigorate a thriving cultural scene in Jeddah. It will stand out within a truly remarkable complex of social and artistic exchange.

‘The aim of the competition is to award the winning design team with a contract for the detailed design development of the developed scheme. The design team will then supervise the construction of the developed scheme by co-ordinating with the wider project team.’

Jeddah is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia and the principal gateway for visitors to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The city is the commercial centre of the country and the site of the world’s tallest building under construction: the 1km-high Kingdom Tower by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Art Jameel was established in 2003 to promote arts and education across the Middle East. Hayy – meaning neighbourhood in Arabic – is a 17,000m² cultural incubator complex it is developing with its sister organisation Community Jameel. The neighbourhood is understood to be the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia.

The cinema will occupy a 400m² space in the north of the complex with an entrance fronting a communal foyer. Proposals must include space for up to 200 viewers, a ticketing stand, cloakrooms, and a concessions stand.

Submissions should include floor plans, interior elevations, 3D renderings, a materials palette and a textual description. The jury will feature an architect, artist, and film maker along with a technical consultant and a representative from the client.

The overall winner, to be announced in June, will either be contracted to deliver the winning scheme or will receive a $15,000 prize. A second prize of $10,000 and third prize of $5,000 will also be awarded.

The registration deadline is 22 March.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: hayycinema@artjameel.org

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