Temporary architectural firm Designlab Experience has collaborated with international multidisciplinary artists to create “Layali Diriyah.”
This art-filled immersive space features recreational activities like live shows, local cuisine, shopping experiences, and family entertainment.
It opened this year on the outskirts of Riyadh as part of the Diriyah Season, the annual event that celebrates the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi.
Thus, the project lights up its vicinity at the perfect time. It opens to the public for 54 consecutive days from January 1 to February 22.
Layali Diriyah showcases original art and light installations created with a lineup of international artists and designers. These include the likes of Balqis Al Rashed, Studio Toer, Vendel & de Wolf, and Masamichi Shimada.
The Dubai and Riyadh-based creative studio behind the complex urban space designed it “immersed in the evocative and mystical landscape of Diriyah.”
“Every element of the project is curated with the firm’s signature forward-thinking approach. From fine dining restaurants of traditional and international cuisine to hookah cafés, retail shops, performance stages, and public seating areas,” Designlab Experience wrote.
To accomplish this feat, the firm literally transformed a quaint tree farm into the immersive architectural installation it is today.
“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,” Designlab Experience co-founder and managing partner Hibah Albakree said.
The 25,000-square meter, open-air wonderland invites visitors to tread along the elevated walkways illuminated by 20,000 functional lights.
This lighting design made use of moving light installations strategically placed on water ponds, elevated walkways, and communal gathering zones.
The end result are “unexpected elements of surprise for the guests.” This is courtesy of the collaboration between the studio and its partner artists.
Of course, Designlab Experience couldn’t have achieved this feat alone.
Sponsored by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Sport, the ongoing event enjoys reliable institutional contributions.
It has gained the support of Aramco, Visit Saudi, Riyad Bank, Dr. Sulaiman al Habib Hospital, Mohamed Yusuf al Naghi, and Nova.
The project furthermore operates in collaboration with production company Blink Experience.
“With Layali Diriyah, we wanted to create the first immersive cultural space embedded in a palm farm,” Albakree said.
Banner Photo by Roberto Conte x Designlab Experience.