Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil graduated from Ain-Shams University in Cairo, where, from 1965 to 1970, he lectured in the Department of Architecture. El-Wakil has acknowledged the importance of Hassan Fathy to his design development. Since 1971 El-Wakil has been in private practice as an architect. (Source: Architecture and Community: Building in the Islamic World Today. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Millerton, NY: Aperture. 1983.)
The project consists of offices, display areas, automobile workshops and storage areas in a rapidly developing area of Jeddah. The complex covers 32,OOO square meters of flat desert land in a prestigious new expansion of Jeddah, and is located opposite the King's new palace. Several commercial centers and public buildings lie in the immediate area. Two different types of spaces were defined in the program, which was prepared by a management consultant and the client in conjunction with the architect. The complex consists of an administrative area and showroom separated from the workshops and storage areas. Much attention has been paid to the climatic aspects of the design of the offices, although air-conditioning systems are used. Openings in the exterior envelope are kept as small as possible. Natural lighting is provided by the interior courts around which the offices are grouped. As the showroom required large areas of glazing at ground level, a gallery was introduced to protect it from direct sunlight. The workshops are tempered by natural ventilation.