Exterior Architectural Illumination / Interior Architectural Illumination
Office for Visual Interaction
Jean Sundin, Enrique Peiniger, Markus Fuerderer
Winner in Exterior Architectural Illumination / Interior Architectural Illumination
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Situated on the northern edge of Riyadh is an oasis of organic design: a 500,000+ square meter, stretched cellular structure evoking the desert dunes. It spills outward from the Place of Icon, the nucleal open-air plaza whose overhead canopies manipulate cooling breezes, tuned to the day’s passage like a sundial, strategically diffusing natural light and shade. As in nature, right angles have no place here; facades are sharply chiseled with uplights and floodlights.
Intricate in detail and vast in scope, this design journeyed from competition to construction documents in just nine short months. And light is not simply part of this space–it is the space. It blooms and flows within atria, meeting rooms, a research library, and IT center, emanating from triangular niches and from behind pure, sculpted ceilings free of downlights. Luminous bands, integrated and hidden into handrails and reception desks, reinforce the cellular structure and provide intuitive wayfinding. In the windowless Musalla, color-changing ambient lighting mimics the daylight colors. As night falls, the grounds continue to radiate. These faceted buildings grow and glow from the sand like sculpted crystals.