al-masmak digital museum
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In 2011, inspired by the Commission’s mission, I founded the Al-Masmak Digital Museum, the first non-profit Saudi online museum that collects Saudi arts and an-tiques.
Now the goal is to build a brick-and-mortar Al-Masmak Digital Museum. The grounds, which will include a plaza and several spaces for national celebrations, will be drawn from modern and traditional Saudi architecture.
Al-Masmak Digital Museum is not just a museum—it’s a cultural movement.
The inspiration for the Al-Masmak Digital Museum comes from His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia. His tireless efforts throughout nation’s history to promote Saudi arts and culture led me to design this unprecedented project.
IN THE YEAR 2000, the Saudi Arabian government established the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, which is devoted to developing the
nation’s tourism sector. The Commission’s particular focus is encour-aging and supporting domestic tourism through cultural festivals and exhibitions.I
France President Nicolas Sarkozy and Riyadh Governor Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz visit the palace of King Abdulaziz, founder of the Saudi Kingdom in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on January 14th, 2008. Getty Images
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Riyadh Governor Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz tour an archaeological exhibition in Riyadh 27 February 2005. AFP
oNSISTINg of MoRE THAN 150 pIECES, the Museum’s permanent collection includes Saudi antiques and artifacts that should be on display for the public instead of
held in private collections that few will ever see. The first piece collected, in fact, was a beautiful oil painting from the 1940s that depicts Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, meeting with Sheikh Hamad bin Isa, the ruler of Bahrain.
King Saud, Fortune Magazine, 1937
Discover Saudi Arabia, Aramco, 1969
Historical Medal, King Khalid International Airport, 1984
18-Carat Gold Omega Watch with King Saud, 1957
24-Carat Gold Rosenthal Plate, King Saud, 1955
Silver Omega Wristwatch Dial with King Khalid, 1976
Inspired by the rich heritage of Saudi traditional dress, the Al-Masmak Digital Museum designed this unique clothing collage, which brings together Hijaz turbans; Najd dakklh, mahzam, bisht, and shemagh; Asir al-maglam; and the egal al-shatfah, a pan-Arabian traditional headdress. The green is reminiscent of the green in the Saudi national flag. The Al-Masmak Digital Museum is committed to preserving and promoting traditional Saudi clothing in the national culture.
Al Masmak Museum Dress.
14-Carat Gold Longines Watch, 1954
Historical Medal, King Abdulaziz International Airport, 1981
The Burlington Free Press Article about Saudi Unification, 1934
Egyptian Stamp in Honor of King Ibn Saud, 1946
18-Carat Gold Movado Watch Gifted by King Ibn Saud, 1946
United States Expo, Kingdom’s Exhibition “Yesterday and Today,” Copper Medallion, 1989
24-Carat Gold Franciscan China Plate, King Ibn Saud, 1953
The Al-Masmak Digital Museum design is based on a close academic study of Najd architecture.
l-DiriyAH was the original home of the Saudi royal fam-ily, serving as the
capital of the Emirate of Diri-yah under the first Saudi. Salwa palace, Saad bin Saud palace, and Imam Mohammad bin Saud Mosque are some of the famous old city’s historic structures.
Al-Masmak Fortress has played a major role in the Kingdom’s history. A wonderful mix of cul-ture and functionality, the fortress contains a maze-like layout and a small door within a door to al-low rapid access. Throughout the complex, adobe provides natural insulation from the summer heat and the winter cold. Tall ceilings allow hot air to flow up to the ceilings, where small windows pull the air out.
Al-Murabba Palace is a defensive fort that dou-bles as a luxury complex. The palace was built with bricks, indigenous stones, tamarisk trunks,
The Museum design, inspired by Al-Diriyah, Al-Masmak fortress, and the Al-Murabba palace, is based on three elements: natural ventilation, natural light, and the visitor experience. Be-cause shaded spaces were an important design element in old Arabian cities, the Museum will contain a massive shaded plaza, in addition to thick concrete walls to cool the space.
The project, by bringing together antiques and artifacts from the Saudi royal family, will establish a thriving cultural museum with three different exhibition spaces. The first area is the indoor area, featuring Saudi royal memorabilia, antiques, jewelry, photographs, stamps, and sculptures. The second is the outdoor plaza, which holds various art objects, including sculptures based on folklore. The third area is the sand room, which mimics the experience of walking barefoot through the desert.
and palm-leaf stalks and its walls showcased the culture’s artistry with colorful geometric patterns. overall, Al-Murabba reflects the gen-eral features of the traditional Najd architecture while embracing modern technologies such as automobiles, electricity generators, and flush toilets with sewer systems, all of which were ultimately adopted in Saudi society.
Interior of the Main Exhibition Space
Succession-in-view inspired by Najd architecture Double Triangular skylights for natural lighting
The Sand Room
Al-Masmak.com was launched to publish a timeline system for Saudi historical archiving, helping to create a significant historical database for our country. It is important to involve local people in this cultural movement, so Al-Masmak maintains an Instagram account with hundreds of images and a Twitter account with tens of thousands of global followers. To increase cultural knowledge for Al-Masmak followers, the Museum’s Instagram displays historical photo-graphs and videos along with a caption of each object, documenting key dates and events in Saudi history.
The Al-Masmak Digital Museum maintains a second Instagram account, the Al-Masmak Al-Khaliji (gulf countries), that dis-plays historical photographs and videos with a caption of each object, increasing cultural knowledge for followers by docu-menting dates and events in the gulf countries. The first piece collected for this special regional collection was the wrist-watch dial from the 1970s for the ruler of Bahrain, Sheikh Isa bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The Al-Masmak Digital Museum will curate exciting popup exhibi-tions across the nation, bringing the collection’s treasures to every corner of Saudi Arabia.
Beyond The Walls
The Founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, meeting with an American official, five months before the death of King Ibn Saud (1953 -1373 AH)
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, who later became King, speaks on the phone and smiles for reporters (1975 -1395 AH)
Prince Mansour bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s first Minister of Defense and Aviation, speaking during a cele-bration of the Indian army unit in Cairo (1951 -1369 AH)
(The Al-Masmak Digital Museum is seeking financial support in order to establish the brick-and-mortar museum and fund its operations. The funds will be an investment in heritage and culture. your support will allow us to broaden and expand our exciting cultural movement. The Museum preserves the past in order to invest in our optimistic national future.)
FUTURE GLANCE ContaCt InformatIon
As computing power improves, the Museum will increasingly incorporate virtual reality into the visitor experience. The goal is to recreate—in stunning, realistic detail—the stimulating cultural atmosphere of the first several decades of Saudi Arabia as an emerging nation.
The Museum’s system of archiving will preserve key art objects and moments from various members of the Saudi roy-al family. our digitized timelines, like the adjacent one about prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, will aid researchers and the public alike. These detailed, multime-dia timelines will preserve the legacies of members of the royal family for gen-erations to come.
Timeline Omar Abdulaziz Murshid
25200 Carlos Bee BlvdHayward, CA 94612
• Master of Architecture, Academy of Art University, San francisco, California, 2015• Bachelor in Business Administration, School of Business, Taibah University, Saudi Arabia, 2007
• Member, The King Saud foundation, 2013-present• Member, Saudi Heritage preservation Society (SHpS), 2011-present• founder and Director of Al-Masmak Electronic Museum, 2011-present• HSBC SABB Internship, Customer Service and Stockbroker, Jeddah Main Branch, Saudi Arabia, 2008• Alujain petrochemical Corporation Internship, Administration Department, Accountant, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2007 • The government of Saudi Arabia Internship, prince of Medina office, Warehouse Department. Medina, Saudi Arabia, 2005• family Business (construction, housing, and consulting engineering), 2000-present
Microsoft office, Autodesk Revit, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Rhinoceros, Autodesk Vasari