referencing the region’s vernacular architecture, foster + partners has revealed plans for a luxury hotel and serviced apartment complex in mecca. the competition-winning scheme reinterprets saudi arabia’s dense building clusters with a design that forms a gateway for pilgrims along the route to the grand mosque. mecca — also known as makkah — has seen an increase in visitor numbers over the past years, with the city unable to accommodate the vast amount of pilgrims who travel to the sacred site each year.
all images courtesy of foster + partners
backed by jabal omar development, foster + partners’ design forms a new topography of cascading vertical elements. importantly, the orientation of all rooms and apartments present views towards the holy kaaba. every room has a dedicated space for private prayer that provides direct views of the grand mosque. an emphasis has been placed on the scheme’s interiors, with the design team conscious of avoiding the lack of identity that generic hotel rooms suffer from.
the orientation of all rooms and apartments present views towards the holy kaaba
‘makkah is one of the most unique cities in the world,’ says luke fox, head of studio and senior executive partner at foster + partners. ‘as the home of the holy kaaba — the holiest site in islam — it presents a special challenge and honor for any developer and architect.’
the scheme forms a new topography of cascading vertical elements
‘our design sets out to create an innovative building form that will be respectful to the scale and importance of the grand mosque,’ continues fox. ‘our endeavor has been to make the experience special and appropriate to its unique location. the design follows a philosophy of ‘luxury with humility’ with an understated elegance throughout the development.’
credit: Philip Stevens | Designboom