Page 27


The scheme will create a gateway for pilgrims travelling to the Grand Mosque

Foster + Partners win competition to design cascading hotel for Mecca’s pilgrims


The design follows a philosophy of ‘luxury with humility’ with an understated elegance throughout the development

The orientation of rooms will optimise views towards the Holy Kaaba

terrain. The orientation of all rooms and apartments will optimise views towards the Holy Kaaba – the holiest site in Islam – with

+ Partners have been

prayer and contemplation rooms

announced as the winner of

overlooking the landmark.

a design competition for a

“Makkah is one of the most

new luxury hotel and serviced apart-

unique cities in the world, and

ments in the heart of Mecca, Saudi

as the home of the Holy Kaaba it

Arabia – Islam’s most sacred city.

presents a special challenge and honour for any developer and

to travel to Mecca (known locally

architect,” said senior executive

as Makkah) each year for the Hajj

partner Luke Fox. “Our design

Islamic pilgrimage. The hotel

sets out to create an innovative

project – overseen by the Jabal

building form that will be respectful

Omar Development Company – is a

of the scale and importance

response to a rapid growth in visitor

of the Grand Mosque.

numbers, which has led to accommodation shortages in the city. According to the architects, their

“Our endeavour has been to make the experience special and appropriate to its unique location.”

winning design for the scheme

Foster + Partners will now

will “create a new gateway” for

collaborate with Jabal Omar

pilgrims travelling along the

to finalise their design.

route between Haramain Railway Station and the Grand Mosque. The design concept is inspired by

This is not the first project being developed to cater for the huge number of visitors travelling to

traditional Arab architecture, and

Mecca. Last year, London studio

reinterprets the city’s dense build-

Mossessian Architecture won an

ing clusters in a way that “creates

invited competition to design a

a new contemporary vernacular

museum of the Islamic faith there,

that respects its sacred location.”

which will explore the history

Formed of a series of

CLAD mag 2017 ISSUE 2

will echo the region’s mountainous

rchitecture studio Foster

Over 3.7m people are estimated

Luke Fox

dramatic pedestrian ramp, the hotel

and practice of Islam and the life

cascading vertical elements of

of Muhammad, who is believed

differing heights linked by a

to have been born in the city.