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King Saud University recently signed a contract with the Swedish company ABV Rock Group for the construction of a specialized building to house the Prince Naif Center for Health Science Research. The new structure will feature world-class facilities for research in cancer, molecular biology, genetics, infectious diseases, and other advanced medical fields.
The Center aims to achieve distinction and leadership in health sciences and to prepare a distinguished generation of health researcher students in senior studies.
In a signing ceremony, KSU Rector Abdullah Al-Othman said that the Prince Naif Center for Health Science Research, to be located in the Riyadh Techno Valley (RTV) complex, will be an important Saudi hub for medical specialists and health services for the community. He said the duration of contract with the company will be 24 months, adding that the Center will serve all KSU colleges.
The Rector said the Center will consist of two blocks so as to accommodate men and women separately. Designed for the largest university in Saudi Arabia, the male sector will cover 23,800 square meters and include world-class facilities for research in cancer, molecular biology, genetics, infectious diseases and several other medical disciplines.
Inspired by a monolith, the building is designed to rest on a podium, creating an urban and local context. The heart of the building, the centrally located Science Square, will feature a lobby, café, library and lecture hall. Open balconies will provide visual and physical connection to laboratories and workstations.
The main entrance to the building will be marked by the unique architectural cut of the northern façade, which will offer a view of the life in the Science Square. The remaining facades, with their modern and sophisticated structure, have been designed to filter the strong Saudi daylight and reduce the need for cooling, as the interplay between light and shadow will create a cool, light and vibrant atmosphere in the building.
The female’s central building, with 8,000 square meters, will possess a monolithic shape, similar to the main building. Its Science Square has also been placed at a central location encircled by the laboratories, teaching facilities and formal and informal meeting spaces. From the workstations on the open balconies, students will have a view of the research activities of the building and the large, comfortable environs of the central space are meant to encourage informal meetings, friendly gatherings and the exchange of ideas stemming from the Center’s academic courses and research facilities. As in the main building, a sophisticated facade structure will filter strong sunlight.
The Rector said that the new Center has already produced a number of significant achievements, which have made their way into some of the most important scientific journals. Millions of Riyals in funding from the government and from the public sector have made these projects and publications possible, while ample funding has facilitated the tutoring of students in scientific research and providing them with job opportunities.
Dr. Saleh Al-Muhsen, the Director the Prince Naif Center, says that the Center will be a shining light of knowledge for the University’s six health colleges (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacology, Nursing and Emergency Medical Services), and has been designed by a specialized engineering company to satisfy the most exacting requirements of international research centers. He said that establishing such a comprehensive center for scientific medical research is a key step in bolstering KSU’s leading role in health science research, as well as upgrading the graduate school curriculum needed to raise the Kingdom’s international stature, by providing an infrastructure necessary for carrying out advanced research in the medical sciences and forming a strong national talent pool.
Dr. Al-Muhsen noted that the Center has, over a very short period, accumulated research achievements and medical discoveries that have been reported in distinguished scientific journals. With such acclaim, it is not surprising that the Center has formed partnerships with distinguished research centers in France, Britain, Germany, USA, China and India.
These esteemed partners include, among others:
- the Hôpital Necker - Enfants Malades, which is historically the first pediatric hospital in the world
- the Harvard Medical School, ranked first among American research medical schools by US News and World Report
- the Rockefeller University in New York City, the first American institution devoted solely to biomedical research.
- McGill university, one of Canada's best-known institutions of higher learning and one of the country's leading research-intensive universities.
- the University of Toronto, established in 1827, and known as Canada's largest university, recognized as a global leader in research and teaching.
KSU has established the RTV research complex to serve the needs of Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning knowledge-based society by facilitating comprehensive research in the fields of petrochemicals, biotechnology, environmental studies, agriculture, communications and the information sciences.
RTV has successfully attracted local and international investment in the Kingdom’s science and technology industries, and used its technology incubators to cultivate Saudi entrepreneurs and companies. RTV’s state-of-the-art facilities have also proven invaluable for the Kingdom’s technology development and technology transfer, which invariably strengthens a knowledge-based economy.
ABV Rock Group is a construction contractor that operates in several interlinked sectors covering buildings and civil works, with its core activities being underground storage including tunneling, road construction and pipelines. They have extensive experience in constructing airports, hospitals, industrial plants, dams and bridges including all associated electrical, mechanical and civil works.