Foster + Partners has won an international competition for a new luxury hotel and apartment complex located just outside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Borrowing from traditional Arab architecture and the area’s mountainous terrain, the mixed-use development will take the form of a cluster of vertical building clusters, arranged in a stepped topography.
The Makkah Museum will be located seven kilometers from the Grand Holy Mosque, which is visited by millions of Muslims each year. The museum "will offer a unique interpretation and reflection of faith to the millions of Muslims who visit Makkah from around the world and who, up until this point, have had no cultural institution of this kind to enhance their visit to the holiest of Muslim cities," write the architects.
WIRED Magazine has created a list of Eight Cities That Will Show You What The Future Will Look Like in the latest edition of their design issue. In the relatively short span of time that humans have been planning cities, more and more decisions have been made that have shaped the path of new technologies and methods that will make cities better. Such projects—like new streetlights, bicycle infrastructure, and traffic-sensitive museums—highlight some of these advances in the urban lifestyle.
"The cities of tomorrow might still self-assemble haltingly, but done right, the process won’t be accidental. A city shouldn’t just happen anymore. Every block, every building, every brick represents innumerable decisions. Decide well, and cities are magic," writes Wired author Adam Rogers. Read on after the break to see how 8 different cities from around the world are implementing innovative projects.
X-Architects has won a competition to re-masterplan Mecca. As designMENA reports, the UAE-based practice has proposed a number of safe and streamlined pedestrian routes to "enhance the movement during the 'Nafrah,' the ritual of moving from Mina to Haram and vice versa" during the religious Hajj. The plan also includes a proposed mixed-use development adjacent to Hima Al Masheir (the holy ritual territories) that would provide service and facilities to those taking part in the pilgrimage.
Mecca has unveiled plans to build the world's largest hotel by 2017. The 10,000-room Abraj Kudai hotel will be built in the Manafia district, just south of the Grand Mosque. It will be a city within a city, hosting 70 restaurants, food courts, a bus station, shopping mall, conference center, ballroom and five floors dedicated entirely to the Saudi royal family; all will be set within a cluster of 12 towers standing atop a 10-story podium and centered around a massive dome.