Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque

Architectural projection mapping of large-scale mosque.

  • Dates: December, 2011
  • Location: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Role: Developer
  • Collaborators:
    • Obscura Digital
    • Andrew Plourde – Technical Direction
    • Eugene Dowlen – Technical Direction
    • Simon Ransom – Technical Direction
    • Travis Threlkel Creative Direction
    • Marta Salas Porras Creative Direction
    • Nathaniel Ruhlman Media
    • Ron Robinson Media
    • Eric Knuble Media
    • Gaston Albanell – Production
    • Nick Lynch – Production
    • Diego Novoa – Production
    • Rainen Janes – Production
    • Joe Vigorito – Production
    • Nathan Houchin – Production
    • Mary Franck – Interative Developer
    • Grady Sain – Interative Developer
    • Imran Nabhan – Interative Developer
    • Josh Brott – Photos / Documentation
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The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Illuminations highlight many of the unique details inside the largest mosque in the country. The projections highlight the geometry throughout the mosque with patterns that shift with symmetry and elegant spare pentagonal forms. A series of frames highlight the detail of the date palm fronds, homage to one of the symbols of the UAE found throughout the mosque. The show includes the unifying spirit of Sheikh Zayed, his passion for the environment through the many beautiful botanical flowers found throughout the mosque, all a part of the vision of the founding father to invite artists of all cultures around the world to design for this spectacular showcase of architecture. Flowers of stone, architectural detailing and lighting spectacles along with colorful organic vines scale the 4 minarets (170m/350ft high) on the four corners of the courtyard.  Projections include, the Qibla Wall mirrored after the central panel of the main prayer hall illuminating the 99 attributes of Allah in traditional kufi calligraphy. In addition, an interpretation of the Mirab next to the wall, depicted by rotating golden domes. There are optical illusions, which alter the architecture of the mosque as glass, highlighting geometry, shadows or glass mosaics shimmering under a blue sky. To end the show, a series of celestial moments with the cycles of the moon, which the Islamic calendar is based on as well as the stars twinkling in the night. The moon rises over the mosque as the illuminations come to an end. The earth begins rotating over the entrance to the Grand Mosque, representing the vision Sheikh Zayed had for his people, their heritage and all of humanity.