As Saudi Aramco edges closer to its long-awaited initial public offering, we look back on the Fourth Industrial Revolution Centre struggling practice Perkins+Will designed for the oil giant.
Located in Dhahran, the Fourth Industrial Revolution Centre was designed to be a centre of innovation, a futuristic state-of-the-art space that allows the world’s most profitable company to help people seize opportunities that can change the world.
As a leading producer of energy and chemicals, Perkins+Will said it was important that the design challenged the conventions of the industry, set global benchmark for innovation and supported the company’s goal to create value by capitalising on the fourth industrial revolution.
Perkins+Will – which won the office design prize at the Commercial Interior Design Awards 2019 for the projects – completed the centre in June 2019, with the design and coordination carried out in 40 days.
Its concept: redefine the relationship between the humans of today and the technologies of tomorrow; integrate technology into the human journey and blur the lines between real and artificial reality.
The office is centred around a circular artificial intelligence hub where the company monitors its supplies and global facilities.
The hub features a 55m LED video wall and bespoke white corian consoles with integrated microphones and power supply.
The ceiling design features recessed black corian coves embedded with wavering strip lights. The lights reflect off the black marble floor, creating a virtual element that accompanies users.
The colour palette supports the futuristic aesthetic, with contrasting tones of black, white and grey.
The environmental, digital and collaborative zones in the open spaces are each identified with a feature colour expressed through coloured joinery lighting and loose furniture upholstery, giving each zone its own identity.
While the world is turning its back on oil, the centre will position Saudi Aramco as a proponent of digital technology and innovation, supporting the company as it moves toward a stock market flotation worth up to $1.7tn.