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Atelier Thomas Pucher
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2006; 2008-2013
The Garden and the Tower

Headquarter for the Organisation of Islamic Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. International competition, 1st prize.

Gross Floor Area: 72.000m?

Team Competition: Thomas Pucher, Gernot Angerer, B?rny Auinger, Georg Auinger, Daniel Bauer, Martin Mathy, Heidrun Primas, Christine Pucher, Erich Ranegger

Team Project: Thomas Pucher, Peter Eppich, Georg Auinger, Jorunn Eknes, Bernhard Luthringshausen, Martin Mathy, Rehab Nicola, Christa Pucher, Katharina Reichweger, Jan Schrader, Nina Sleska, Anja Stenglein, Hannes St?ffler, Katharina Wyss, Thomas Zach; Alfred Bramberger, Ulli Hoier (landscape)

The new O.I.C. headquarter will be a global sign, made of light

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference is an organisation of worldwide authority, characterised by a modern understanding of the roots of the glorious Islamic culture and tradition.
The new headquarter shall be a symbol of this holistic understanding of tradition, culture and modernisation. It shall be expressed in a clear visible form that can be understood and recognized by everyone ? A global sign and a symbol of light for the whole world.

The tower - an object of light
The project is composed in two parts. The first is a vertical tower, which houses the office section and provides each workspace with an awe-inspiring view; the second is a landscape like garden, which houses the conference area, the entrances and huge green areas for recreation and presentation.
The textile surface of the tower - a superposition of membrane layers - in connection with the scenic use of natural and artificial light, force the building to become a giant object of light and therefor an object of the landscape itself.  It emerges out of the landscape and merges with the sky at 160m.

The dome
The main hall of the building is designed as a giant dome inside the tower ? a reference to ancient Islamic architecture. The dome rises up to form an atrium, running through the whole height of the building. In summer, when the altitude of the sun reaches its height, the sun-rays shine through the entire building to the floor of the grand hall ? an impressive natural spectacle.

The garden ? a paradise oasis
The garden covers the whole site. It interweaves indoor and outdoor spaces to one nature-inspired whole. The structure of the garden is composed by floating waves of concrete and drop-shaped basins, developed out of a vision of sand dunes, which are transformed into a geometric pattern in the third dimension to form floors, walls and ceilings at the same time.
Vegetation and conference area overlap so as to blur the limits between nature and man made environment. The Giant Hall and the conference area are fully connected to the garden, providing fresh water, air, greenery and natural light, as well as shadow and cool air.


The reflection of historic architecture leads to state of the art Ecology
Over the centuries the Islamic architecture developed many appropriate answers to the extraordinary solar radiation and climate of the region. As a benefit they all create beautiful light conditions and very often also tremendous impressions of interior spaces through the filter of the sun light.

Our design is a continuous development of these elements towards the future. This means that not only technical equipment is used to provide a convenient indoor climate, but also sensible architectonical elements to reduce energy consumption and create a building that finds its roots in the history of the Islamic architecture.

The building provides its own shadow
The textile surface of the building is a permanent sun- and glare-shield, placing the building ?in its own shadow?. Together with the concrete shell of the tower, the optimized size of windows and a precise modulation of the membrane?s transparency according to its specific orientation the whole system can reduce the amount of cooling load up to 50% compared to present-day glass-skyscrapers. The reason is very simple: the sun does not even reach the building.