Khalifa University Extension
by UMAYA Lighting, RSP Architects &
Elite Design & Engineering Consultancy

The Khalifa University Extension consists of 169,630 m2 organized into four buildings, interconnected by a unique ‘spine’ that extends from the first building to the last on all floors. These buildings house Abu Dhabi’s first medical school, an engineering department, sports complex and R+D facilities.

The project was developed in partnership with RSP Architects, Planners & Engineers as Lead Consultants and Designers, and Elite Design and Engineering Consultancy as Client Representatives.

The interior lighting design approach was to combine both functional and decorative lighting elements to provide the required lighting levels, while creating an aesthetically pleasing and inspiring atmosphere. Key feature areas such as the Student Hub and Spine had to be carefully studied in order to accommodate multiple functions while enhancing the architectural design and complementing the identity of each space.

The landscape lighting scheme considered the ambient lighting as the sum of individual lighting strategies, as a way of creating a balanced atmosphere while generating intimate subspaces to be enjoyed by students. Concealed light sources provide a unified language and a subtle gradient of light.

Triangular Led tiles matching the pavement pattern were utilized both for general illumination and way-finding. They were placed in a gradient fashion; more condensed the closer they are to the building’s entrances. This allowed for architecture, lighting and branding to come together as a homogeneous entity.

Not only is the overall lighting design functional and aesthetically pleasing but is also energy efficient, since the overall scheme had to be compliant with Estidama requirements.

UMAYA Lighting Design is an international lighting consultancy firm with offices in Dubai, Barcelona and Latin America. For more information on their work you can visit

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