University Plaza Tectonic Themed Design

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals wished to redefine the existing main entry of the campus to help re-brand the University as the oldest and most prestigious institution in Saudi Arabia. In addition to re-creating the University entryway, a 600-car parking structure was commissioned to be located at the main entry to the campus.

The University’s renown geology department, along with the rock outcrops characteristic throughout the campus, led designers to implement a tectonic theme for the campus plaza. The theme not only creates visual interest, but defines the plaza circulation patterns and allows for the introduction of outdoor collaborative spaces. The intent was to introduce a visual/tactile element as the first impression of the University.

The University’s desire to locate the parking structure near the front of the campus led architects to “camouflage” the structure. The structure site is 20-feet above grade and 20-feet below the main campus. Using a steeped water feature to the west, the structure is effectively camouflaged to appear as a natural terrace.

The University “Plaza” is actually the top level of the parking structure. It is designed as a multipurpose outdoor space for use in special events, pre-function space, student gathering/collaboration, and as a possible location for restaurant/retail spaces. Date palms are used throughout the landscape design to supply much needed shade.


King Fahd University

At a glance

60,700 SM (653,000 SF)

600-stall parking structure


Tectonic-themed design

“Camouflaged” parking structure

Main entry re-design

Multi-function plaza


Master planning

Schematic design

Landscape design

Architectural design