The systematic destruction of Saudi Arabia is under way—in silence. Historic mosques, tombs, mausoleums, monuments and houses: more than 90% of the old quarters of the holiest cities of Islam has been razed to make room for a new urban landscape of hotels, shopping centres and apartment blocks. [...]
Construction works have already transformed Mecca and Medina into cities without a past, dominated by skyscrapers. — theartnewspaper.com
The Gulf in the Middle East, the heartland of the global oil industry, will suffer heatwaves beyond the limit of human survival if climate change is unchecked, according to a new scientific study.
The extreme heatwaves will affect Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and coastal cities in Iran as well as posing a deadly threat to millions of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, when the religious festival falls in the summer. — The Guardian
"The study shows the extreme heatwaves, more intense than anything ever experienced on Earth, would kick in after 2070 and that the hottest days of today would by then be a near-daily occurrence."Related:Luxury Anthropocene: Dubai gets its first private floating islandsIt's only August but humans...
At least 52 people were killed when a crane crashed in Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Friday, Saudi Arabia’s civil defence authority said on its Twitter account.It said 30 people were injured.
The Muslim annual Haj pilgrimage is due later this month and Saudi authorities go to great lengths to be prepared for the millions of Muslims who converge on Mecca. — theguardian.com
UAE-based X-Architects has won a competition to design a new masterplan for Makkah, Saudi Arabia - the holiest city in the world for Muslims. [...]
“We proposed a complex network of pedestrian routes on different levels to enhance the movement during the “Nafrah” [...]
“The surrounding roads have either been bridged or tunneled so as to strengthen the pedestrian tissue. This will solve the current situation of the constant crash between people and vehicles.” — constructionweekonline.com
Abraj Kudai is to become the world's largest hotel located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia and upon completion, will offer 10,000 rooms in 12 separate towers. [...]
The Saudi Binladin Group holds the main construction contract, and work on the $3.5 billion hospitality project has already started. [...]
The architecture is set to create an iconic landmark that will reflect a contemporary interpretation of a traditional desert fortress. — constructionweekonline.com
The new science of neuroaesthetics [...] tells us much about the way pure form is dealt with by the brain. [...] V S Ramachandran, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, and William Hirstein, a philosopher at Elmhurst College in Illinois, argue that we are innately attuned to recognise things as unified objects – such that we find brushstrokes or architectural features that can be mentally assembled into a coherent whole more beautiful. — aeon.co
The dominant architectural site in [Mecca] is not the Sacred Mosque, where the Kaaba, the symbolic focus of Muslims everywhere, is. It is the obnoxious Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel, which, at 1,972 feet, is among the world’s tallest buildings. It is part of a mammoth development of skyscrapers that includes luxury shopping malls and hotels [...] The city is now surrounded by the brutalism of rectangular steel and concrete structures — an amalgam of Disneyland and Las Vegas. — NY Times
The leading Saudi artist Ahmed Mater, who caused a stir with a series of photographs depicting the rampant redevelopment around Mecca, is due to take part in his first public talk in the UK at Sotheby’s London (12 August). Mater will also discuss this work in relation to other cities such as Jerusalem and Medina during the discussion, entitled “Contemporary photography and hybrid architecture”. — theartnewspaper.com
Towering over Mecca, this is the world's second-tallest building – and it is just a tiny part of a voracious development that has seen historic sites bulldozed and locals forced into shantytowns. — guardian.co.uk
Germany-based Egyptian architect Ahmed Al.Badawy has shared with us images of the fascinating project "Al.Mualla Cemetery Mural / A Matter of Life and Death" which won the First Prize at the First Islamic Competition for Ornamenting Makkah Al.Mukarramah (Mecca, Saudi Arabia). Next to Al.Badawy, the design team also included Ahmed Enab and Yasser Mehanna. — bustler.net
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