In collaboration with Studio Studio Studio (Italy), led by artist Edoardo Tresoldi.

Art installation Gharfa stood at the heart of Diriyah Oasis as part of Diriyah Season 2019.

The urban planning of the large open-air entertainment district was inspired by elements of a medieval city, with paths leading from the entry gates to the plaza in the centre of the urban experience. Gharfa’s presence in the middle of the central plaza was integral to Designlab Experience’s vision to effectively integrate art with community engagement.

The installation was inspired by elements of nature in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding UNESCO ruins of At-Turaif Fort. The wire mesh architectural fortress reached a maximum height of 26 metres and blended greenery with industrial materials. Filled intermittently with cork, it invited visitors to enter a world both visible and invisible.

Inside Gharfa, a multi-sensory experience was created with projections of fire elements, a traditional carpet complementing a sky of artificial clouds above, and a composed immersive musical score emanating from the center of the installation. It was a place of contemplation where visitors could find rest from the bustle of the plaza, where they could reflect in a meditative ambience surrounded by calming music.

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