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Place, Sand and Oil

Place, Sand and Oil

Noor Riyadh





Place, Sand, and Oil (2018-2022) is a spatial installation reconfigured from the Saudi pavilion for the 16th International Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018. 

The original work examined urban sprawl and its social structures across the Kingdom. Its central elements featured an experimental material interpreting the primordial elements associated with Saudi Arabia. Resin, a petrochemical derivative, is combined with sand to create a series of translucent surfaces. These handmade sheets were conceived as an interpretation of the major economic drivers supporting the sprawling developments that characterize the nation’s contemporary urban landscape: Oil & Land. 

For Noor Riyadh, Bricklab repurposes these customized resin sheets to highlight the interplay of light and shade during the day. By nightfall, the installation takes on a different character; it glows like a beacon amongst the trees. The installation is reconfigured from its original introverted form to activate vistas and enclosures. 

The original work was commissioned by the Misk Art Institute. It’s reconstruction on Saudi soil is reminiscent of the nation’s inaugural participation at the Venice Architecture Biennale as a special moment immediately preceding the nation’s current cultural renaissance.