A mirror-clad concert hall named ‘Maraya’ has opened 22km from the Al-Ula region in Saudi Arabia, a Unesco World Heritage site 300km from Madinah where Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman launched the Jean Nouvel-designed Sharaan Resort and the Sharaan Natural Reserve in February 2019.
According to Construction Week’s sister title Middle East Architect, the Gio Forma Studio Associato-designed Maraya spans 5,000m2, and features installations, an ‘immersive’ theatre, interactive exhibitions, and kinetic art by Leva-Todo.
Two of Maraya’s side façades are covered with reflective panels that offer abstract views of the mountainscape surrounding the Unesco site.
The building is described as “a site-specific [work of] object architecture”, and architects Gio Forma Studio Associato said the mirror cube will “highlight the surroundings instead of competing with nature”.
Maraya was inaugurated by HH Prince Badr, Govenor of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula. Local festival ‘Winter at Tantora’ was the first event to be hosted at the purpose-built concert hall.
The festival’s organisers describe Maraya as “a feat of modern engineering [that] is an extension of the environment around it”. According to Middle East Architect, Winter at Tantora included performances from musicians such as Andrea Bocelli and Yanni.