The Relationship Between Architecture and the Environment

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  618 Words
Date:  2022-03-09


Architecture and the environment have very strong relationships. The type of architectural design used for building houses can affect the environment either positively or negatively. This is because buildings are responsible for a good portion of carbon emission into the atmosphere. Generally, architecture affects the environment on aspects of energy, its consumption, renewability, water, soil and air pollution, resource renewal, and emission of gases. Desert environments such as Dhahran and Riyadh require special architectural designs aimed at conserving energy and reducing carbon emission into the atmosphere. They also need well-designed buildings that enhance sustainable exploitation of resources such as electricity, water, air, and provide comfort to the people. Being located in the desert environment, the two cities need adequate architectural designs that enhance the sustainable use of resources to safeguard the environment from pollution, gas emission, and excessive heating.

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The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Snohetta) and King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center

King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Snohetta) and King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center are two iconic architectural designs in Saudi Arabia that show a good relationship between architecture and the environment. The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Snohetta) is located in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The building is designed to offer lucrative cultural services both to Saudi Arabia, the regional OPEC nations, and worldwide. It is a cultural landmark comprising diverse cultural facilities such as auditorium, library, cinema, museum, archive, and exhibition hall. On the other hand, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The research center comprises five buildings, including the Energy Knowledge Center, a Research Library, the Energy Computer Center, a Conference Center with a 300-seater auditorium and exhibition hall, and the Musalla (KAPSARC, 2017).

Having been situated in a desert environment, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Snohetta) and King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center have some similarities and uniqueness in their building design strategies. The following are some of their similarities. The buildings were designed to minimize energy demand in this extreme climate zone. Apart from that, the buildings have angular prows jutting out across the landscape to match the environmental unique patterns. Moreover, the buildings feature bold structures with complex patterns demonstrating the Islamic geometric tradition.

The Environmental Approach Used

The architectural designs applied developmental adjustment as an approach to environmental stress in constructing the two buildings. The buildings have covered outdoor areas of air circulation to help in mitigating solar radiation effects and extreme wind velocities. The covered outdoor spaces help regulate the extreme effects of wind and hot sun, which affect the region. The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture was constructed using uniquely grounded pebbles that are smooth and shining to glisten in the sun, making it appear both mysterious and monumental from the horizon (Insoll, 2019).

Evaluation of the Environmental Response to Climate

Developmental design is an effective way of mitigating environmental stress. Given the success of the two architectural designs discussed above, the method is very appropriate for controlling human impact on the environment, including air, soil, and water. A good developmental design provides efficient energy use and conservation. It also promotes sustainable architectural development. The architecture-environment relationship will enable me to creatively come up with innovative designs that enhance a more sustainable environment and minimize climate change.


Insoll, T. (2019). opening doors: the king Abdulaziz center for world culture, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Material Religion, 15(4), 520-522. Retrieved from

KAPSARC, K. A., P. S. (2017, September). How to Achieve Economic Prosperity Through Industrial Energy Productivity Improvement. In Workshop Briefs (No. ks--2017-wb08). King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center. Retrieved from

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The Relationship Between Architecture and the Environment. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved from

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