Madinah Welcome Center
The Madinah Welcome Center in Saudi Arabia is a cultural landmark for visitors and pilgrims to this holy city. The Center reveals the history and traditions of Madinah as deeply connected to the birth of Islam.
- Dar Al Omran
- Madinah Welcome Centre
- 59,500 sq. ft.
- Exhibit Design, Graphic Design, Master Planning
- Medina, KSA
- Year Completed
- In Progress
Every year, millions of visitors and pilgrims arrive in Madinah, one of the two holiest cities in Islam, to experience the journey of pilgrimage (Hajj and Umra). R&P, in collaboration with Dar Al Omran architects, and the City of Madinah development authority have conceived the new Welcome Center as a gateway experience. The centre is a mixed-use development, featuring an exhibitions center, a hotel, convention services, hosting, retail, restaurants, gardens and fountains. The welcome center provides a comprehensive story from the ancient landscape through to the future plans for the City. The foundation of the story is the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and his connection to Madinah the birthplace of Islam.
The center will use multimedia and interactive experiences to tell the story of this incredible city’s landmarks, people and traditions.
The experience of the welcome center is itself a welcoming journey. Woven into the complex architectural assembly of the mixed-use development, the exhibit experience starts upon entry where one encounters the essential character of the city, including its oases, its rugged landscape, its lush plantings, its educational mission, and its tradition of hosting visitors. The story moves from the ancient landscape to the life of the prophet (PBUH) and his journey to Madinah. It continues on to describe the birth of Islam, the development of the city, the traditions of education and the burgeoning shape of the city of tomorrow.
The design language is eclectic and modern. Evocative, fragmentary re-constructions suggest the ancient landscapes and urban fragments of its history, while large scale photo mural installations showcase the sparkling beauty of the oasis city. Digital media theatres and installations put the history and the stories into a deeper context. Visitor experiences are wide ranging, including modest reconstructions of the original humble dwelling of the Prophet (PBUH), to experiential discovery zones that examine the many cultures that have come to Madinah over hundreds of years. High-tech interactive exhibits explore the rise of Islam as a global religion while virtual reality theaters offer visitors a chance to fly above the Madinah of tomorrow.
R&P incorporated design elements that are truly iconic, using natural materials full of monochromatic richness, inspired by the geometric motifs endemic to the city. The result is a bold, sleek, and contemporary design; an overall beauty in keeping with this most beloved city.
The welcome center was developed as one of several concurrent efforts. An intensive research project helped to define the urban history of Madinah, concurrent with the timeline and the events of the life of the prophet (PBUH). The exhibitions center was developed together with the architecture of the hotel and convention facility. The entire project was developed with an economic feasibility component to help shape the fiscal development incentives for the financial partner. In turn, the exhibits design also helped determine the comprehensive definition of the project design. The design was presented to the key members of the Royal Family who are deeply involved as stakeholders in the future of the city.