Maraya is the largest concert hall in the world. Set in the desert landscape of the city of Al Atheeb, the mirrored structure appears almost like a mirage.
If it may seem simple – a rectangular box covered with giant mirrored panels, designed by the Milanese agency Giò Forma – it is nevertheless a project of breathtaking scope, which underlines the cultural richness of the city. The concert hall also hosts an immersive theater and an interactive exhibition.
The Guinness World Records organization has recognized the Maraya Concert Hall building in the Al-Ula desert (Saudi Arabia) as the largest mirrored structure in the world thanks to its 9,740 square meters. Designed by the architecture studio Giò Forma, this work was created to reflect and enhance the natural beauty of the surrounding desert.
Designed by Giò Forma, this building has an area of 9,740 square meters.
It is located in the Al-Ula desert (Saudi Arabia), next to Mada’in Saleh.It is a palace for cultural activities and concerts.
Maraya, which means ‘reflection’ or ‘mirror’ in Arabic, is a giant cube, silent and respectful architecture, ‘a site-specific landmark’, meaningful and elegant, with an inherent simplicity and extravagance”, explains the architecture studio “Maraya makes us explore and discover, it makes us reflect on the incomparable spectacle of the geological epic, the radical abstraction of the environment and the unique incursions of man into the landscape”, adds- she.
Inside, the building has a monumental hall that will host exhibitions designed for an international audience. It also contains a 26-meter-tall theater that can seat 550 people, several restaurants and a rooftop bar. “Maraya aims to become a cultural place by organizing musical events, international operas and innovative exhibitions in this unique place,” says the studio.
Additionally, the space will feature a giant retractable window of over 800 square meters that opens up to nature. A setting featuring Mada’in Saleh (meaning cities of Salih), a historic city known to be a trading root that linked the Arabian Peninsula to the Levant region. In fact, this area became the first Unesco World Heritage Site in Saudi Arabia. As such, this area boasts of naturally sculpted rocks, historical writings and rock art, as well as numerous Islamic and religious monuments.
“AlUla is a World Heritage Site and it is the 21st century showcase of our vision to create a cultural hub, with Maraya as an impressive center for world-class events, performances, celebrations and business meetings. Maraya is a medium that interweaves nature, culture and humanity,” says Amr AlMadani, CEO of RCU, the organization behind the project.