edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia
 

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi and studio studio studio — his new interdisciplinary lab — have installed a large-scale pavilion called gharfa in the saudi arabian capital of riyadh. peaking at 26 meters, the structure draws from local ruins and questions the intimate relationship between man, landscape and architecture by creating different experiences through the distinctive spaces.

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia
all images by roberto conte

 

 

on september 2019, saudi arabia opened its doors to foreign tourists following an initiative to diversify their oil-dependent economy. gharfa by edoardo tresoldi and studio studio studio was commissioned by the diriyah season committee and is situated within the temporary creative project diriyah oasis, designed and curated by dubai-based studio designlab experience. the project sits close to the at-turaif district — a UNESCO world heritage site that will open soon, hosting museums and cultural institutions, highlighting the country’s desire to expand its cultural offer.

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

 

 

for this project, and as the artistic director of studio studio studio, edoardo tresoldi worked in collaboration with designer alberonero, musician max magaldi, and garden designer matteo foschi. together they created an immersive installation where visitors are invited to meet, rest, and meditate surrounded by tresoldi’s signature wire mesh structures, alberonero’s semi-transparent fabric installation, foschi’s greenery and magaldi’s sound narration.

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

 

 

known for his ethereal, arresting and intangibly beautiful large-scale wire mesh sculptures, tresoldi has taken a step away from his usual practice of blending the pieces with their surroundings. this time he has created a structure that is an architectural fortress, offering selective glimpses into what is happening inside. gharfa continues to use the artist’s trademark material but combines it with cork to outline and carve out the spaces and paths.

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

 

 

‘duna, the semi-transparent fabric-based installation by alberonero, dialogues in a complementary way with gharfa, symbolizing a white horizon, a journey into the void,’ comments the official release. ‘right on the threshold of the visible and the invisible, this work explores space as a place in which one can disappear – stepping away from sight and its tangible perception, creating a subtle limbo that isolates the visitor from the outside world.’

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

 

 

an arabian influence is seen both on a video installation by tresoldi and on foschi’s greenery. on the first one, tresoldi virtually recreates a fire and uses a carpet as a counterpart to a sky made of artificial clouds. the later one sees the greenery intertwine with the industrial materials, creating once again a juxtaposition between natural and artificial, and traditional and contemporary. magaldi’s sounds installation seems to be the thread that connects the whole structure with a dichotomy of its own: each musical segment is simultaneously independent and interconnected allowing the whole piece to be listened in its entirety from the center of the structure.

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

 

 

‘by creating a multi-disciplinary environment through the interplay of digital and analog, anthropic and natural, geometric and organic, gharfa shapes an expressive experience that first shatters and then restores the thin line between collective imagination, individual imagery, and narrative fiction,’ concludes the statement. ‘the theatrical artifices and scenic materials are not hidden, but proudly exhibited. projectors and scaffolding become an integral part of the installation. the result is a narrative of different surfaces, which in turn become a stage for personal perceptions, while highlighting the structure’s backstage anatomy. each element of gharfa has a life of its own but was thought and conceived as part of an orchestral composition that interprets cultural contamination as a reference point for future artistic languages.’

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

 

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

edoardo tresoldi + studio studio studio's gharfa wire mesh architectural fortress in saudi arabia

 

 

project info:

 

name: gharfa

artist: edoardo tresoldi and studio studio studio

in collaboration with: alberonero, max magaldi, and matteo foschi

location: riyadh, saudi arabia

commissioned by: diriyah season committee

photography: roberto conte

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