Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University


Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Our Impact:


Our Specialist Brands:

Dar, Perkins&Will, Maffeis, Introba, Currie & Brown



A project to build the world’s largest women’s university in Saudi Arabia, providing state-of-the-art facilities to educate the next generation of women. 

Enabling opportunities for Saudi women 

The Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) was envisioned to empower Saudi women to emerge and realize their ambitions on both the local level and the international scene.  

PNU is the largest women’s university in the world and a global leader in 21st century learning. The university offers state-of-the-art educational facilities in all major academic disciplines for as many as 60,000 female students. 

Dar, one of Sidara’s global design engineering specialists, helped bring to life a vision of a campus built around community, sustainability and innovative learning environments. 

An oasis of culture and education 

The university’s campus is located in the east of Riyadh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia  

Our teams set to work on the project with an in-depth understanding of the demands on the space and its role in shaping the next generation of women. Our experts imagined the university as a place of both culture and education, where women could pursue their unique dreams, surrounded by designs inspired by regional architecture and cultural tradition.   

The design of the university and campus services included eight academic colleges, six health sciences colleges, two medical research laboratories, a 300-bed hospital (with a built-up area of around 100,000 m² and expandable to 600 beds), a central library, and sport facilities, among other buildings. The team also conceived more than 10,000 housing units to accommodate students and over 1,500 villas and apartments for faculty and staff. The total built-up area for the campus’ assets exceeded 3 million m2.  

We developed a landscape strategy and carried out site grading, soft and hard landscaping, water installations, and electricity.  

With a site area of 800 hectares, we also designed an around 14-km dual-track elevated rail system to facilitate student, staff and faculty mobility across campus. 

The campus was designed and constructed in a record time of three years and was awarded LEED gold certification for its achievements. 

Emergence of Saudi women experts 

A dedicated space for the higher education of women has enabled Saudi women to advance and gain recognition in many different fields of culture, science and specialized research.  

Their experiences, skills and knowledge have enriched the global discourse, contributed to the Kingdom’s economy and culture, and helped them to achieve their own personal self-fulfillment and ambitions.  

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