Located in the north western province of AlUla, Saudi Arabia, Maraya Concert Hall has set a Guinness World Record for largest mirrored building in the world.
“Maraya” means “mirrors” in Arabic, and the “mirrored wonder” got this name due to the giant mirrors attached to its structure which reflect AlUla’s breath-taking landscape. This includes the Hegra region, which is the first historical site in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.
The “Maraya” is a giant mirror cube, an almost invisible, silent building, and a true piece of “land-art architecture”.
The concert hall can hold up to 500 people and has already hosted leading and prominent international artists, including musician Omar Khairat and opera singer Andrea Bocelli.
Located in Wadi Ashaar, near the volcanic freeway, The Maraya Concert Hall is equipped with the latest theatrical and operatic sound systems. The structure is cube shaped with the exterior walls covered entirely in mirrors that reflect the picturesque surroundings of AlUla — a landscape that has captivated creatives, artists and architects from the Nabataean civilisation to the present day.
The external cladding consists of 9,740 square metres of mirrors. Commenting on the achievement, Amr Al Madani, CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla, said, “AlUla is a cultural heritage to the world, and this step comes in fulfilment of AlUla’s vision, to create a regional and global cultural centre. We have developed Maraya Concert Hall as a hub for world events, concerts, celebrations, gatherings, and business conventions. The mirrored hall is a global platform where nature, culture, and human heritage coexist in harmony.”
Designer Florian Boje of Gio Forma said, “As evident in the architecture of the Nabataeans, Maraya Concert Hall was created utilising segmentation and by sculpting the blocks. This unique edifice makes us think about the unique landscape of the geological saga, the radical abstraction of the enchanting environment of AlUla, and the uncommon incursions for man in the natural landscape; the reflections give an overwhelming balance and a deep sense of the connection of human heritage with nature and its intertwining and harmonising together, which provides us with the responsibility of protecting our human culture that is combined with the exceptional nature of AlUla.”
“What remains of great cultures is art and architecture,” says Al Madani. “Successive civilisations have formed the cultural scene with their knowledge and experience, and AlUla wants to become an artistic destination for artists to enhance a spirit of imagination and inspiration in their being.”