King Saud University is the largest and most prestigious university in the Middle East. Established in 1957, the university currently enrols over 60,000 students. In late 2010 Scott Tallon Walker Architects were appointed to design and deliver new academic buildings and facilities for the College of Sports Science and Physical Activity, a key element of the phased implementation of the university masterplan.
The design brief comprised two primary elements: a College Building, to accommodate the academic activities of the Faculty, and the Sports Campus, which includes sports halls, swimming pools and athletics arena.
The 14,600sqm college building connects to the university’s central academic spine and provides teaching and learning facilities including laboratories and four 200 seat lecture theatres for the academic departments ofbiomechanics and motor behaviour, exercise physiology and sports and recreation management.
The 40,000sqm sports campus includes a covered 7,000 person all-seated arena designed to international athletics standards. The space doubles as the University’s Aula Maxima, accommodating 10,000 for conferring ceremonies. Other facilities include a 50m Olympic standard swimming pool, with separate diving and 25m training pools; halls for gymnastics, martial arts, ball and racquet sports, a dedicated gym facility and associated teaching, conditioning and changing rooms.
The sports campus provides an exceptional environment for applied learning for the College of Sports Science, as well as top class recreational facilities for students of the wider university.