Mountains, Deserts, Seas

Ithra Encourages Playful Exploration of the Natural History of Saudi Arabia


In Dhahran

Spectacular architecture in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert. The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, or Ithra for short, stands where the kingdom’s prosperity began. Here, at the gates of Dharan, Saudi Arabia’s first source of crude oil was discovered. Today education is the main focus at Ithra, which TIME magazine included on its list of the “World’s 100 Greatest Places of 2018”.

Ithra Dhahran Outside View at Dusk

Ambition: Immersion

Today, where deep drilling for mineral resources once took place, the people of Saudi Arabia, especially its young population, are to learn about the fauna and flora of their homeland. To this end, iart has implemented an interactive exhibition in partnership with Atelier Brückner. The aim was to literally immerse the visitors in the topic, to stimulate them, and to involve them in what happens around them.


  • 7 thematic zones
  • Diverse interactive exhibits
  • Interaction with an immersive environment
  • Lounge with 4 interactive books
  • Virtual guides through the exhibition
Ithra Dhahran Arabian Journeys Three Visitors glance at a Vitrine
Ithra Dhahran Arabian Journeys Interaction Table Hand

Visitors Take Part

The exhibition zones offer visitors numerous opportunities for playful interaction: a globe that depicts continental shifts; schools of fish, projected on the wall, that react to hand movements; a room-filling simulation where the country’s resources can be used and the peninsula’s future can be explored. Whatever the visitors do, their actions leave behind traces in the exhibition.

Ithra Dhahran Arabian Journeys Huge Three Visitors In Front of an Interactive Projection
  • Opening


  • Location


  • Client

    Saudi Aramco

  • Partners

    Atelier BrücknerIdee und Klang Audio DesignTamschick Media+Space

  • Services

    2D/3D DesignSoftware DevelopmentSystem IntegrationRequirements ManagementCoordinationInteraction DesignControlling

  • Awards

    • German Design Award

    • Golden Award of Montreux

    • Iconic Awards: Innovative Architecture.

    • Show All Awards
    • ADC Award

  • Photos & Video Footage

    Daniel Stauch via ATELIER BRÜCKNER, iart.

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