2008 / 2008
Makkah currently welcomes about 1,000,000 pilgrims during Hajj, many of whom are compelled to pray outside the Haram Mosque wall.
The successive intensifications and expansions of the city, linked to Makkah’s demographic evolution, enclosed the sanctuary, depriving it of visibility and making it difficult to extend.
The project’s major objectives are to restore the Haram Mosque into a central position in the city and give it an architectural dimension able to welcome a growing number of worshippers in the best conditions for safety and religious practice. The project integrates a general urban reflection on the city of Makkah and its practices as a daily place of worship and during the pilgrimage.
In reference to the symbolic geometric shapes of Islamic culture, the circular form of the project is similar to the radioconcentric evolution of the site and recalls the ritual progression performed by pilgrims.The first ring is inclined towards the current mosque, thus clearly defining its spot within the city. The following rings act as suspended circular terraces that embody the radiance of Muslim spirituality and provide large shading structures that protect worshippers from dazzling sunlight.
The project involves the implementation of a new network of roads to improve the pilgrimage experience and the implementation of a hospital and a cultural center. Ultimately, the Haram Mosque will be able to welcome four million pilgrims, four times its current capacity.
Client: Ministry of Higher Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Al Haram Expansion Study Committee
Assignment: Preliminary conceptual design
Area: 1,423,271 sqm