Layali Diriyah Riyadh Buildings, Saudi Arabia Architecture Design Images, KSA Masterplan
Layali Diriyah in Riyadh
24 Jan 2023
Design: Designlab Experience
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Photos: Roberto Conte
Layali Diriyah, KSA
Designlab Experience’s latest architecture project Layali Diriyah, lights up the Saudi Nights with an eclectic fusion of design, contemporary art and cuisine nestled in a palm grove on the outskirts of Riyadh, a multisensory world of wonder celebrates the Diriyah Season January 1st- February 22nd.
Beneath the starry night sky and swaying palms just outside Riyadh, Designlab Experience transformed a quaint tree farm into Layali Diriyah.
Also known as Diriyah Nights, the immersive architectural installation is open to the public for 54 consecutive nights, until February 22nd. The architecture firm and creative studio designed the 25.000 sqm open-air wonderland for Diriyah Season, the annual celebration honoring the traditions, heritage, and birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi.
Visitors are invited to wander along the elevated walkways illuminated by 20,000 twinkling lights and explore the mesmerizing site that brings together international design, contemporary art, world-class cuisine, and local cultural talent from this up-and-coming Saudi city. Sponsored by the Ministry of Sport, the ongoing event is operated in collaboration with production company Blink Experience.
“With Layali Diriyah, we wanted to create the first immersive cultural space embedded in a palm farm,” says Hibah Albakree, co-founder and managing partner at Designlab Experience, the Dubai-Riyadh-based architecture firmand creative studio. “By integrating architecture into nature and by blending the natural elements of light and darkness, sound and silence, stillness and movement, we were able to create a design experience of discovery and play, and best of all, amplify the collective dreaming that occurs when we gather under the night sky.”
When entering the space, guests are welcomed by a sleek wooden tunnel with beams jutting into the sky. The semi-open installation offers partial views of the farm grounds lit by a myriad of glowing roses and showcases local art. Between the palm trees, a wavy burgundy bench marks a walkway connecting a series of modern treehouses inviting family play and offering fresh produce and local delicacies. On a crescent-shaped stage, musicians, folk artists, and dancers entertain throughout the night. Six international pop-up restaurants, including the Lebanese dining destinations Shababik and Al Nakheel, cafés, and retail kiosks are built as indoor-outdoor areas to create seamless fluidity between architecture and nature.
Designlab Experience strived to find a perfect aesthetic balance in the ambiance, using rustic materials such as wood, metal, and rope in earth tones reminiscent of the traditional mud architecture of Najdi, a nearby UNESCO protected site. The project was completed in a record time of nine weeks from conception to execution, with just three weeks on site. The architects surveyed the area, mapping the palm trees of the farm before transforming the space without imposing on the natural surroundings and creating a platform to level the grounds and protect the farm’s irrigation system.
Light design plays a key role in the project. Designlab Experience collaborated with international contemporary artists, including Vendel & deWolf, Studio Toer, and Masamichi Shimada. They collectively designed moving
light installations strategically placed on water ponds, elevated walkways, and communal gathering zones as unexpected elements ofsurprise for the guests. Layali Diriyah exemplifies the positive impact of temporary architecture on elevating neighborhoods, reshaping communities, and giving purpose to otherwise neglected areas, in line with Saudi Arabia Ministry of Sport’s mission to draw international visitors through design-minded initiatives unfolding during the Diriyah Season. Designlab Experience, the region’s leader in temporary and immersivearchitecture, has worked with sustainable and innovative techniques that do not disrupt yet adapt to the natural configuration of the land while preserving the region’s heritage territory, reimagining the environment, and providing inspiration to future permanent developments.
Layali Diriyah is an event organized by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Sport with the support of Aramco, Visit Saudi, Riyad Bank, Dr. Sulaiman al Habib Hospital, Mohamed Yusuf al Naghi, and Nova.
Designlab Experience’s temporary installation will close on February 22nd with Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day celebration.
About Designlab Experience
Designlab Experience is an architecture and creative studio based in Dubai and Riyadh, specializing in transformative experiences through bespoke architectural design and art. Led by Co-Founders Hibah Albakree and
Mootassem El Baba and Lead Architect Marwan Maalouf, Designlab Experience is a global team of designers, architects, artists, engineers, and strategists committed to challenging and transforming the familiar by creating fully immersive environments, highly curated in the most intricate details. From urban spaces to large-scale installations, high-profile weddings, and interactive exhibits, the work of Designlab Experience strives to push boundaries of design, architecture, space planning, audiovisual technology, décor, and art installation to produce extraordinary spaces and experiences.
Featured Artists & Works:
Vendel & deWolf (The Netherlands)
“Celestial Time Dust,” displays a cluster of orange LED lights swirling in orbit,
radiating a fiery blaze. The designers created the installation to emulate both
celestial bodies in the universe and people as they crowd around a point of
Studio Toer (The Netherlands) “Fish are Jumping” is an abstract interpretation of the fish that sometimes draw our attention when jumping above the water—a play of light and dark, speed of slowness, sound, and stillness.
In “Social Sparkles”, a cloud of elements waits calmly. When you enter the area, they liven up. The elements get in motion. A swarm of lights fills the air above you. This invites you to move too, creating a lively interaction between you, the light, and others. Masamichi Shimada (Japan) “You can’t catch me” invites childhood memories of chasing dragonflies. When viewers approach the dragonfly installation, it will always elude them right before they can touch it, just as it did when they were children.
Balqis AlRashed (Saudi Arabia) “Suns of the Times” is a multi-sensory experience of connection and discovery, inspired by a poignant feeling reminiscent of a bond between the artist and her father, who grew up in the land of Diriyah.
Architecture: Designlab Experience – Saudi Arabia
Photography: Roberto Conte
Layali Diriyah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia images / information received 200422 from RMJM architects
Location: Riyadh, KSA – Saudi Arabia
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