Key Concept Interiors’ Huna Library project in Riyadh is a space to ideate, socialise, and work in an urban environment

The libraries of today are highly impacted by modern times in terms of design, feel, and overall ambience. As Huna’s second venture into creating a unique destination, Huna Library is the first phase to launch from the bigger Huna Takhassusi master plan. It is a venue serving and showcasing an array of F&B concepts, experiences and events that cater to the community for the entrepreneurs and self-starters of Saudi Arabia.

Mansour Bakheet

“Huna” in Arabic, literally means ‘here’. Mansour Bakheet, creative director at Key Concept, says: “Key Concept designed Huna Takhasusi launches its first phase in Riyadh.” Bakheet further shares: “The Huna Library contains a speciality coffee bar, retail, and social space that could be turned into an events space. Having a multi-functional space that could be turned into a multitude of set-ups, it was idealised that the project needed to become more of a place rather than just space. It was imagined where the city intellects gather to discuss ideas, socialise, and work. It would become a facilitator for deriving ideas, revolving around an atmosphere of the amiable design.”

There are four zones, each divided by planes on different levels. Pockets of light are introduced to gain and reduce volume as one goes deeper into the destination. A connection is drawn from the urban and architectural past of the city to bridge the present and its future. Elements of the Nadji Architecture in the region inspired the solid masses of the façade. The social space is likened to a covered street or a courtyard.

A play on rhythm and repetition on the different elements gave the simplistic and minimalist interiors some sense of movement and unrelenting visual quality. The much-needed negative space that is present is likened to the city’s introverted personality. However, the new and modern design vocabulary speaks across different times. The distinct tone of the textured paint is taken from the native material of the clay, sundried bricks.

The streamlined lines and forms are cut through with the MS steel panels that contrast as a material that weathers over time, a sign that it is transformative over the lifespan of the venue. Once woven together, all these elements and interests created one special canvas that inhibits a self-nurturing and growth-inducing multi-layered stepping stone to many original success stories.