JEDDAH: The Jeddah-based design studio Bricklab — founded in 2015 by brothers Abdulrahman and Turki Gazzaz — has won the Art Jameel International Design Award for its proposed design of Hayy:Cinema.
The cinema will be part of Hayy:Creative Hub — which is set to open in Jeddah next year — and is billed as “the first bespoke home of Saudi and international independent film in the Kingdom.”
Bricklab’s design — selected from over 100 entries from around the world, and one of three Arab entries shortlisted — isn’t limited to its 200-seater main screen. It includes an audio-visual library, archive viewing rooms, an additional community screening room, and “educational space.” The designers reportedly interviewed actors, directors and producers from Saudi Arabia and the wider region, and carried out “extensive research” into the history of cinema in the Gulf, before settling on their final proposal.
The jury — which included Wael Al-Awar, co-founder of ibda design, the architects behind Hayy:Creative Hub; Faisal Baltyuor, CEO of the Saudi Film Council; Butheina Kazim, co-founder of Dubai’s independent picture house Cinema Akil; and Ippolitio Pestellini Laparelli from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture — judged all entries blind (applicants were represented only by a number) and praised Bricklab’s proposal for its “incorporation of elements designed to encourage the participation of the wider creative community with Hayy:Cinema.”
The project will contribute significantly to the Kingdom’s burgeoning homegrown cultural scene, something that Abdulrahman Gazzaz spoke to Arab News about earlier this year, saying: “We are lucky to be around at this time when the arts are really being promoted and supported. The community of art is growing, and speaks truthfully to us as a society.”
In a statement regarding the Art Jameel award, the brothers said: “We are excited to contribute to this momentous project which will surely reshape the cultural landscape of the city of Jeddah and Saudi as a whole. We hope to achieve a benchmark project in terms of design excellence which dovetails with outstanding programming.”