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
Built in 1780 and leveled in 2002 for the construction of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel complex, the Ottoman Ajyad Fortress is just one of many historic sites that are being destroyed and replaced by hotel towers, condo skyscrapers and parking lots. Related news on Archinect:More than...
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
All images via X-Architects' website. Learn more about the proposal here.In case you were looking for royal floors and helipads, you may get lucky over here: World's largest hotel under construction in Mecca — and it's worse than you thought.
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
KONE has initiated the first stage of elevator and escalator installations at Saudi Arabia’s 1km-tall Kingdom Tower.
The Finnish lift firm is currently fitting elevator guiderails at the project, which is being developed by Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) and is set to become the world’s tallest building on completion. — constructionweekonline.com
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
This report explores the historical castles and fortresses in Saudi Arabia’s al-Medina Al-Munawwarah, the Islamic faith’s second holy city. Al-Medina holds Prophet Mohammad’s Mosque and is 450 kilometers north of Makkah. Al Arabiya’s correspondent Khamis Al-Zahrani went on a mission to explore the city and discussed how urban expansions are posing a threat to its unique architecture. — Al-Arabiya
A training barracks used by Roman gladiators and the 2,000-year-old mausoleum of the Emperor Augustus could be restored with money from the Saudi royal family, in the latest effort by Italy to secure funding for its crumbling cultural heritage.
In a deal brokered by Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, the Saudi royals are to provide millions of euros to pay for the restoration of some of the capital's neglected monuments. — telegraph.co.uk
Once complete the tower will be the world’s tallest, beating current record holder the 828m-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Client Jeddah Economic Company has not yet confirmed the exact height of the tower, but has indicated it will be over 1km tall.
In December, contractor Saudi Bauer completed piling work for the tower, including sinking 270 piles up to a depth of 110m. — bdonline.co.uk
The British company that built the Shard skyscraper in London will manage the construction of the Kingdom tower in Saudi Arabia, which will be the world's tallest building when completed.
The Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal unveiled the plans, by American firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, 18 months ago as part of a new £13bn Kingdom City development on the Red Sea coast to the north of Jeddah. — guardian.co.uk
Designers for The Wave, Muscat, were tasked with the challenge of engineering a luxury, mixed-use development stretching along six kilometres of natural beach coastline between Al-Athaiba and Al-Mawelah while ensuring it was protected as much as possible from the Sea of Oman. — DesignBuild Source
"You need to get concrete out of your head and replace it with greenery," Bödeker had thundered at the head of planning at the urban planning authority. The gruff German made such an impression that to this day, Saudi authorities continue to hire and recommend him. Image by Susanne Kölbl / DER SPIEGEL — Der Spiegel
Susanne Koelbl introduces the work of Richard Bödeker, a German landscape architect who has been working in Saudi Arabia for nearly 40 years. Bödeker Partners has played a key role in introducing green spaces to Riyadh and has pushed the limits in terms of making the desert bloom...
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
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