From competition entry to reality, this multi-building campus is a 3-dimensional, parametric sculpture located in Riyadh. Envisioned as a modern crystal in the desert, lighting creates the central focal point of the project's nighttime identity, glowing and softly radiating throughout the site.
The site is a virtual micro-city, exceeding 500,000 m2 characterized by its innovative design, featuring a series of interlocking, cellular structures that include an Office Building, Conference Center, Library, IT Center and Place of Worship, as well as shaded outdoor spaces, courtyards and gardens, woven together by an open-air central plaza.
Each building profile of the architectural dune-like forms has a different height and contour,. There are no right angles or identical sections - resulting in highly atypical facades. Detailed 3D lighting calculations were performed for each condition to determine lighting locations.
A strategic lighting vocabulary was developed utilizing internal glow, vertical illumination, contrast and silhouettes to articulate the dynamic forms. In-grade linear luminaires are positioned strategically to anchor specific facades while keeping in mind distant viewing angles and cohesiveness of the overall design of the complex. At night, Interior volumes are chiseled with light to enhance the sharp, angular design. As a spiritual center, the Musalla is a symbolic embodiment of light, and the illumination is a transformative element generating emotion and an experiential journey for worshipers. The interior is characterized by a large, organic structural web. Delicate screen panels fill the openings of each frame and a serene glow of white light emanates from behind the screens setting the contemplative tone in the worship hall. Downlights are precisely aligned with the screen detailing, piercing through to provide sparkle and the required illumination at floor level, with no visible hotspots or shadowing.
The result is a holistic lighting design that becomes an extension of the architectural design.