Architectural and Lighting Design: ALS
The Spheres is an installation in the form of a large-size urban forest, located at the intersection of two arterial roads in the city of Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). On top of steel-slat trunks, the iron spheres that simulate the crowns of trees are lit up with the colours of the Saudi Arabian flag and have a visual effect on hundreds of people each day. The Spheres has become a benchmark artistic figure for the city.
Antón Amann (ALS) states that “if you look at this space from a poetic point of view, the arms of the bridges form a complex network, like roots spread across a forest floor, between which new strong and fresh trees emerge, rising to the sky. A touch of freshness for the hot, dry environment of the desert”.
The installation consists of 27 structures in the shape of different-sized trees, with three different diameters of crown (5, 7 and 9 m). The spheres were created using revolution helicoids, forming a spiral repeated five times. Despite their apparent light weight, they are very heavy structures, each weighing more than 18 tonnes.
In line with the designers’ instructions, Lamp used custom-made SHOT LED luminaires to light the base, the trunk and the crown of these trees. Based on the changes requested, we added curved glass to prevent the accumulation of desert sand, the optical body was supplied without gear, and a special tilting lyre shape was designed to enable easy positioning. 48 V low-voltage custom-made LED plates were included with three colours: neutral white and green for the crown; and warm white for the base and the trunk. Similarly, we supply two types of optics: spot and wide flood, which enables the light to be correctly dispersed throughout the different sections of the structure. The luminaires are controlled remotely using drivers with DMX RDM protocol.