The Urban Heritage Museum Administration Centre is a project by Zaha Hadid Architects that, appropriately, is meant to reference an oasis -- one of the keys to survival in the harsh environment of the desert. This reference is fitting because the Urban Heritage Museum Administration Centre is tasked with managing and ensuring the survival of two nearby UNESCO world heritage sites in a desert environment: Diriyah and the Wadi Hanifah valley.
The building takes up a 95,000 square foot tract in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. The town of Diriyah and the surrounding Wadi Hanifah valley have been dubbed world heritage sites because of their ecological rarity. They comprise a natural oases in the middle of the arid Najd plateau. The Urban Heritage Museum Administration Centre's swirling design thus references the mirage-like haze that accompanies a nearby oasis.