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This Illuminated Version of Riyadh’s Cityscape Will Leave You Awestruck

Part of the Noor Riyadh festival, the dazzling piece by VOUW is inspired by NASA satellite images…

VOUW is one of the prominent names featuring on the roster of over 60 global artists who have been selected to display works at Noor Riyadh, the exciting light and art festival that’s taking place in the Saudi capital. And for the highly impressive gathering of global light and art, themed ‘Under One Sky,’ the celebrated Dutch design studio is showcasing a newly commissioned 15 by 15 metre work called “City Gazing Riyadh.”

The masterpiece takes its inspiration from the iconic imagery popularised in the 1970s following the Apollo 17 space mission. The installation, a light rendition of the city of Riyadh as seen in NASA satellite images, can be found at the city’s King Abdulaziz Historical Center.

“It is a great honour for us to be part of this inaugural edition of Noor Riyadh. “City Gazing Riyadh” is the product of our extensive research using old maps of the city,” VOUW’s Mingus Vogel said. “We spent a long time researching, our focus was the development Riyadh over time, and the ongoing aim of refocusing the urban development of the city on its citizens. We have envisioned our installation as a place of gathering and hope to see families uniting under the illuminated rendition of Riyadh’s cityscape.”

Vogel went on to say the festival is a special opportunity to introduce VOUW’s work to the Arab world. The creative also said with the Kingdom being home to such a young population, Noor Riyadh is the perfect opportunity for VOUW to inspire youngsters and push local creators. “We can imagine it's incredible for people living in Riyadh to feel the change happening across their country and to experience public art that reflects that cultural transformation,” he added.


On their Instagram page, VOUW explained “City Gazing Riyadh” underscores the grandeur and fragility of life and showcases “the footprint of light we send out into space.” The design studio that nabbed the Dezeen Awards for seating design last year is known for working at the crossroads of art, technology, and design. The company’s experts are pioneers in slow-tech, which constitutes a design that slows people down to encourage real-world connection.

While the highest quality of light installations will remain illuminated until April 3, the “Light Upon Light: Light Art since the 1960s” exhibition at the King Abdullah Financial District Conference Center will stay accessible until June 12.

The Noor Riyadh festival, a citywide festival of light and art, is part of the larger Riyadh Art programme, which is investing in over 1,000 pieces of public art to turn the city into a gallery without walls.

Since it kicked off on March 18, Noor Riyadh, featuring nearly 300 public and online events, has been dazzling visitors. Family-friendly public art illuminations, online talks, guided walks, drive-in movies, music and workshops have all helped to captivate the citizens of Riyadh.  For more information, visit: 

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