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Digital City Icon Lights Up the Night Sky with Debut on Saudi National Day 2020


ITCC Digital City is a landmark mixed-use destination in Riyadh. Instantly recognizable for its 4 golden towers that sparkle in the sun, they now light up the night sky as a brilliant light-filled canvas with over 45,000 LEDs.


LightSwarm was commissioned to provide 352 intelligent lighting control systems to interface between the high-end media server and the 15,000 LED lighting fixtures mounted on the façade of the building.  Each lighting fixture projects three beams of RGB lights onto the façade of the building, and a further beam of light outwards.  A further 352 weatherproof remote interface units were manufactured and mounted on the exterior of the building.  

Originally intended as a digital experience, the towers lay dormant for several years after being constructed. Then, in 2019, the team of Modelcraft and Saber, were commissioned by Raza and the Public Pension Agency to figure out how to bring their concept to fruition. 


Instead of merely retrofitting out-dated technology, Modelcraft and Saber, with Saber as lead technical design partner, set about reimagining the towers' function with a mission to create a new landmark for Riyadh and Saudi Arabia. With a combination of cutting-edge technology, creative design and animation, and extensive modeling and network architecture, they now operate as one large, unified canvas for content and light shows that is both versatile and user-friendly.


A powerful 3D media server translates the video signal to lighting protocols, enabling the lights to be triggered as individual pixels on a mapped geometric canvas. This is key to allowing content to operate independently on a single LED point of light or to be integrated across all 4 towers, creating a dynamic digital light experience. The system is controllable from mobile and touchscreen devices on a dedicated network, enabling easy content upload, scheduling and playback.


The team engaged New York-based creative consultants, ArtVue and Morcos Key, to conceptualize the towers’ inaugural content, working with Saber’s creative team on animation. LightSwarm was then engaged to provide the electronics and software control interfaces between the media servers and lighting fixtures.


In less than 8 weeks after appointment, under an accelerated program LightSwarm delivered the first prototype units for testing.  The entire equipment inventory was then manufactured and delivered to Riyadh in the following 10 weeks. LightSwarm engaged partner Rapid Electronics to assist in the electronics engineering design.


Client: Raza, Public Pension Agency

Location: ITCC Digital City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Prime Contractor: Modelcraft International Saudi, Riyadh

Technical Design + Project Management: Saber, Riyadh

Electrical Contractor: Al Faris

Lighting Supplier: Ausplex/LightSwarm

National Day Content

Creative Direction: ArtVue Worldwide, New York

Graphic Design: Morcos Key, New York

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