Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
The Desert Agriculture Research Initiative is planned as an international center for research and education in the fields of desert agriculture, desalination, solar-wind power, and fish farming. The purpose of DARI is to become a world-class aquaponics center for the 21st Century and pursue its fundamental mission of “science in action.”
My initial design instincts focused on the site design being the physical manifestation of the evolution of the science. The plan focused on circulation from the two main entry points. Program dispersement was carefully selected to educate the visitor on the evoution of desalination from the primitive to the technological, further moving into its revolutionary use in DARI’s research goals, the use of the sun to provide fresh water in food in areas of the world lacking both of these fundamental necessities.
As SITE pushed forward we developed the site as a fusion of technology and landscape, using the rhythms of the key seawater greenhouses to create an aesthetic fusion of varied building façades, roof gardens, lateral walls, paving patterns, park pavilions, shaded walkways, seating options and sea/sunset facing public spaces.
(James Wines, Denise MC Lee,
Catherine Ahn, Matthew Gindlesperger, Frank Chen, Sara Stracey, Kriz Kizak)