Urban Art Projects completes 60 metre high Beacon artwork in Saudi Arabia

30 September, 2009


CLIENT KAUST | Aramco International
LOCATION Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
ARTIST Daniel Tobin
DESIGN UAP Studio, Daniel Tobin, Matthew Tobin, Jamie Perrow
ARCHITECT Fairweather Proberts, Liam Proberts, Alex Eckersley
ENGINEER Robert Bird Group, Ross McDonald, Lance Barton
LIGHTING Norman Disney Young
YEAR 2009
DIMENSIONS Height 60m, Footprint 500m2

Urban Art Projects has completed a 60 metre high artwork, Al-Fanar (Beacon), the centre piece of a new US$7 billion world-class research institution for KAUST located at Thuwal Point, overlooking the Safaa Harbor and the Red Sea, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The inauguration of KAUST took place in late September 2009 when the Beacon was unveiled as part of a two day celebration. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud hosted more than 3,000 guests, including prominent Saudis, foreign leaders, and Nobel laureates.

Breakwater Beacon Reference Images

Al-Fanar was designed by Daniel Tobin, Principal of UAP. The striking structure creates a contemporary interpretation of a lighthouse and will act as a symbol for the university. UAP’s design draws inspiration from ancient Arabic maritime traditions, in-region artwork and architectural detailing, linking to the marine ecology of the Red Sea. Built in pre-cast concrete blocks, Al-Fanar’s complex structure is a collection of unique amorphous hexagonal sections stepping up out of the Red Sea into an elliptical spire. The reverential interior space—with the patterned skin of the atrium creating a dappled shaded effect—is designed for communal gatherings and includes an amphitheatre and reflection pond.


Al-Fanar is part of a major international arts program at KAUST to celebrate its vision for global collaboration and exchange. Curated by UAP, the primary focus of the program is to interpret and present interdisciplinary art and design that stimulates creativity and interaction, drawing inspiration from KAUST’s unique geography, science and technology-based research, language, text, regional histories and traditions.

2 Responses to “Urban Art Projects completes 60 metre high Beacon artwork in Saudi Arabia”

  1. Thank you for bringing to my notice your latest work. It is absolutely awe inspiring. My kindest regards to all at UAP.
    Peter Manning
    Senior Project Officer
    Information Industries Bureau

  2. dani marti said

    well done Daniel!

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