Jeddah project will turn desalination plant into exhibition and studio space

Jeddah Central Museum Coastline Overview_CREDIT_Heatherwick Studio

Source: Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio has revealed images of a museum it has designed for the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah that will be the centrepiece of a new waterfront district.

The project will transform an old desalination plant into a neighbourhood for artists and makers. It will also offer production spaces including studios and ateliers, alongside a program of public exhibitions and large-scale commissions.

The Jeddah Central Museum design includes the conversion of a turbine hall into a dramatic exhibition space and the old desalination plant into a makers’ market. Heatherwick Studio said the project ”fuses human scale and comfort with the large industrial character of the site”.

The practice said the campus would be dedicated to helping people learn about, experience and feel inspired by the creative process in a city that has been home to artists and craftspeople for more than 1,000 years.

Heatherwick Studio group leader Mat Cash said the new museum was central to Jeddah’s ambition to boost the creative industries.

“The museum will play a major role in the city’s transformation from its fossil fuel past to a new economy focused around creativity and a young population,” he said.

Jeddah Central Museum Aerial Overview_CREDIT_Heatherwick Studio

Source: Heatherwick Studio

Aerial view of Heatherwick Studio’s Jeddah Central Museum proposals

“The project takes a disused desalination plant that people in Jeddah have always seen from far away and turns it into somewhere they can use and explore.

“It takes a building designed for machines and turns it into a space designed for people.”

Heatherwick Studio said Jeddah Central Museum would be one part of a 5.7m sqm development providing tourist, entertainment, sport, cultural, commercial and residential amenities.