Riyadh Midtown Mall, Saudi Arabia

5th May 2022

The new Midtown Mall, in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, features a dynamic, multifaceted faÇade and landscape lighting concept, created by Nulty.

Located on one Riyadh’s busiest thoroughfares, the Midtown Mall development was designed by global architecture firm Benoy, and comprises a series of interconnected retail and restaurant units. 

With a sweeping restaurant frontage forming an integral part of the design, demarking the area as a vibrant destination that comes to life, lighting designers at Nulty worked closely with the architects to create a façade and landscape lighting concept for the commercial hub.

The goal for Nulty was to integrate the lighting design within the overall architectural vision for the project; light has been designed to work on both an emotional and aesthetic level, creating an immersive experience while bringing contrast and drama to the façade and landscape as a whole.

Nulty used three different lighting techniques across the façade to establish a clear visual hierarchy: each of the ceilings on the triple-floor frontage features an illuminated panel with a distinctive perforated finish. Here, the team used a cool colour temperature to provide high-level illumination, which frames each level of the exterior and reveals the textural detail of the perforated surface. Across the middle of each façade, a continuous line of cove lighting washes the lower walls with warm light and creates the illusion of a sweeping band of gold, which connects all of the individual restaurants.

The architectural form of the exterior was then given a third layer of contrast through a series of illuminated timber fins that travel across the entire expanse of the restaurant area. Inspired by Riyadh’s sandstone desert landscape, this flowing wave of light features concealed luminaires that emit light upwards and downwards to enhance the contours and tones of the structure. The overall effect is organic in its feel and creates a sense of movement throughout the space.

At a lower level, landscape illumination works throughout the mall district to mark out key features and assist with wayfinding. Uplights in planting and integrated lighting within decorative water features add a touch of theatricality, while linear lines of light serve to illuminate steps and highlight seating areas in planters.

Ahmed Saliem, Projects Director at Nulty, said of the project: “The lighting scheme for Mid Town Mall demonstrates how when the lighting design works cohesively with the architecture, we can enhance the way people perceive and experience an urban environment. Our lighting concept uses contrasting light levels to enrich the visual composition of the façade and add pattern, playfulness and character to the scheme.”


Image: Pierre Zabbal