Dubai: Diriyah Company and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City have unveiled a joint venture to construct the Royal Diriyah Opera House, a cultural landmark set to grace the historic quarters of Diriyah, a site of profound cultural significance in Saudi Arabia.
The announcement was made during the Bashayer 2023 event, which also marked the launch of a collaboration with Snøhetta, a globally renowned architectural firm, entrusted with the design of the opera house.
Riyadh’s Syn Architects will also contribute their local architectural expertise to the project.
The Royal Diriyah Opera House, an avant-garde cultural institution in the Kingdom, will be nestled near the Unesco World Heritage Site of Al Turaif in Diriyah.
With a sprawling footprint spanning 45,000 square meters, the opera house will take centre-stage in the second phase of the Diriyah masterplan, aligning seamlessly with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and elevating Diriyah as a hub of global cultural and creative excellence.
Ebrahim Al Sultan, Minister of State and CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, hailed the opera house as a symbol of Riyadh’s aspirations to be at the forefront of cultural and architectural innovation.
He pointed to Riyadh’s selection as the host city for Expo 2030 as evidence of the city’s dynamic progress. The Royal Diriyah Opera House is envisioned as a pivotal milestone on this transformative journey, blending Saudi heritage with contemporary flair.
Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration with Snøhetta, emphasising that it aligns perfectly with Diriyah’s mission to attract leading design talents and achieve architectural excellence. This initiative is an integral part of Diriyah’s expansive vision for development, vividly showcased at the Bashayer 2023 Event.
Renowned for its creative and sustainable designs, Snøhetta intends to infuse traditional Najdi architecture elements into the Royal Diriyah Opera House. Kjetil Thorsen, Co-Founder of Snøhetta, underscored the significance of harmonising tradition with modern aesthetics to craft a cultural icon with a global resonance. The design, inspired by Najdi architecture, will blend heritage and innovation, amplifying Diriyah’s cultural-driven development vision.