King Fahd University Marine Biology Lab Building

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Primarily a research facility, the building features numerous wet labs, cryogenic lab, GSI processing lab, analytical laboratories, indoor and outdoor aquariums, office space, food service facilities, and separate laboratory testing facilities for use by outside companies.

The two-story architecture is characterized by cast-in-place concrete walls with a textured finish. Design considerations throughout include accommodations for high humidity, salinity, sand and wind as they affect the facility and specialized equipment used in marine research. A distinctive pump system distributes sea water from the Gulf to the various laboratories supporting sea life under observation and experimentation.

A boat yard and marina area adjoin and extend from the building with adequate space and access considerations for research boats and submarines.

Colors of the sea and wave formations permeate both the internal and external design. Sandy-colored walkways lead to a two-story atrium containing the indoor aquarium. Dark blue and aqua accents add cool tones with wave patterns reflected in both the wall textures and furnishings.


King Fahd University

At a glance

11,100 SM (119,400 SF)


Wet labs

Cryogenic lab

GSI processing lab

Indoor and outdoor aquariums

Food service facilities



Conceptual design

Laboratory planning