Saudi Arabia to Open a Massive New Cultural Hub, Complete With Artists’ Studios and a Comedy Club

Here's a first look at Art Jameel's huge complex in Jeddah, set to open next year.

Hayy, commissioned by Art Jameel and designed by ibda design. Courtesy Art Jameel.

The Saudi nonprofit arts organization Art Jameel has unveiled its plans for Saudi Arabia’s newest arts complex, set to open in Jeddah in mid 2019. Called Hayy: Creative Hub, the ambitious multifaceted building is the second major cultural center to be taken on by Art Jameel, which is also launching another space, the Jameel Arts Center Dubai this coming fall. Both follow closely behind the blockbuster inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi last fall, furthering the international focus on the Gulf arts scene.

Helmed by the former director of Art Dubai, Antonia Carver, since 2016, Art Jameel has also launched a commissions program this year, beginning with a public sculpture commission that will be announced in February.

Hayy: Creative Hub is meant as an incubator for art and other creative industries: It’s aimed to create a productive place for showcasing Saudi talent and also provide work spaces for the country’s film, theater, digital, and arts industries. Its expansive site includes a theater and host-spaces for galleries and cafes, artist studios, and even comedy clubs. The diverse facilities are interconnected via shaded walkways and internal courtyards in the largest commission to date for the award-winning Dubai-based architects, ibda design, who are also in the midst of conceiving a sculpture park in the city.

Details about partners who will be joining Hayy will be released in the comings months. Get a first look at the new complex below:

Hayy: Creative Hub, commissioned by Art Jameel and designed by ibda design. Courtesy Art Jameel.

Hayy: Creative Hub, commissioned by Art Jameel and designed by ibda design. Courtesy Art Jameel.

Hayy: Creative Hub, commissioned by Art Jameel and designed by ibda design. Courtesy Art Jameel.


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