As part of Diriyah Season, Designlab Experience created and curated a dynamic immersive environment for the public – the Diriyah Oasis. Spread over an area of 155,000 square meters and built in only 52 days, Diriyah Oasis infused the district’s distinct cultural aesthetics and original Najdi structures with contemporary architecture and state-of-the-art technologies to effectively integrate art with community engagement.
In creating Diriyah Oasis, we explored concepts and space in search of new distinctive perspectives. Careful consideration was given to the movement of the visitors and to the flow within the created space. The urban planning was inspired by elements of a medieval city, where entry and exit gates stood as portals into the oasis. The main axis of the central promenade led to the focal point of the Diriyah Oasis – the plaza circle and Gharfa, an installation by Studio Studio Studio, led by renowned artist Edoardo Tresoldi (Italy). Inspired by local surroundings, this wire mesh architectural fortress reached a maximum height of 26 meters and was filled intermittently with cork. It was a place of contemplation, where visitors could reflect in a meditative ambience, surrounded by multi-sensory experiences, calming music and greenery. Structural wooden shading and seating elements around the plaza were introduced by architect Alexey Myakota of ADM Architects (Russia), hosting a variety of functions such as retail, cafes and children’s playgrounds.
From the main plaza, several converging roads led up to four distinct zones that orbited around this central point, each of which was characterized by a theme. Road art, Clock of the Times, by artist Dasic Fernandez (Chile) mirrored typical urban locations worldwide where art is shared with the public. A mural of carefully organized shades, it responded to the specific theme of each zone.