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
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
News broke that Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is designing Kingdom Tower, to be the world’s tallest building, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, near the Red Sea. [...] It has been reported that the tower’s height will be at least 173 meters (568 feet) taller than the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s 828-meter-tall Burj Khalifa, which was designed by Adrian Smith while at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. — bustler.net
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