Architecture of Hayy Jameel


Designed by waiwai, Hayy Jameel’s building has received multiple architectural accolades, including Gold in the Hong Kong Design Awards; Silver in the New York Design Awards; the Honour Award for Exceptional Design by the American Institute of Architects (Middle East chapter); and nominations for the 2A Continental Architectural Award and the London Design Awards. Waiwai was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition for the principal architects Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto’s curation of the UAE pavilion.

Designed to nurture creative cross-pollination, the three-storey building in the residential north Jeddah area of Al Mohammadiyyah responds to its surroundings: tall façades intimate the privacy of a home while allowing for interior openness, flow and maximum natural light, achieved by centring all activity around Saha, the community courtyard, with landscaping rooted in concepts of sustainability and adaptability year-round. The steel structures of the building allow for the flexibility to reconfigure space as cultural trends emerge.

Hayy Cinema, the Kingdom’s first independent audio-visual centre, includes a 200-seat theatre, a community screening room and a multimedia library. Imagined as a year-round home for the Saudi film community and local cine-enthusiasts, the cinema is designed by Jeddah-based architectural practice Bricklab, awarded through a highly competitive international design competition run by Art Jameel. 

The Art Jameel-run exhibitions space Hayy Arts anchors the complex, presenting robust, curated, museum-style shows featuring Saudi and international artists and designers that address themes of local and global relevance.