The Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi’s AlUla snagged the Guinness World Records prize for the world’s largest mirror-clad building. The architectural masterpiece provides an impressive mirage effect of its surrounding environment, 22 km from the kingdom’s first UNESCO Heritage site, Al-Hijr.
Showcased at the ‘Winter at Tantora’ festival within AlUla’s growing cultural site, the mirrored box surrounds a 500-seat concert hall, refracting the deserts golden sand and massive boulders. It draws in both great light and attention, forming an extension of the environment, with its 9,740 square meters entirely covered by reflective panels.
This one-of-kind building meets the nations new environmental, health, and safety standards. Known for its durability, the glass is also designed to withstand corrosion, chemicals and clouding.
A worldwide collaboration
While the American company Guardian Glass provided the primary materials and the architects and designers from the italian firm Gio Forma are responsible for the creative process, this project proves to be a melting pot of cultures and visions for the future.
According to Amr Al-Madani, the CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, the hall extends far beyond musical notes, serving as “a hub for world events, concerts, celebrations, gatherings, and business conventions.” In accordance to the broader efforts of Vision 2030, it aims to serve as a “global platform where nature, culture, and human heritage coexist in harmony.”
Inviting in the outsiders
Located on the volcanic grounds of Wadi Ashaar, its sights have drawn in creatives since the Nabataean times. Tracing all the way back to 4th century BC, the curious wandered far to catch a glimpse of the yellow and red sand panoramas, towering canyons and the black lunar plateaus with their natural arches.
Today, Maraya propels this point of gathering to greater heights, with boundary-pushing designs and equipment from the latest theatrical and sound systems within the hall itself.