This is Mossessian Architecture, designed by the French architect Michel Mossessian of Armenian origin, based in London, which won the competition to design the Makkah Museum, a new building dedicated to the Islamic faith, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The Mecca Museum will be built at a remote site seven kilometers from the Grand Mosque which is the Kaaba, the most sacred place in the Muslim world.
The construction will include a gallery space of 5600 square meters which will host exhibitions on international practice of Islam and the life of Muhammad.
It will also include a reception hall, an auditorium, a library, teaching space, a rooftop garden and a restaurant.
“The Makkah Museum will offer a presentation and a reflection of the faith million Muslims who visit Makkah from around the world, and until now, had no cultural institution in this way to diversify their visit to the holiest of Muslim cities, “reads a declaration issued Mossessian.
Mossessian teamed with Adeline Rispal exhibition architecture studio to engage in competition for the museum project. The duo was declared as the winner this week.
Rispal has designed an empty space at the center structure to represent a “virtual minaret”, where visitors will rise by browsing through the exhibits.
Mossessian Architecture has achieved this by designing a ramp continues to rise in this space t, with a parallel spiral back down, “said the firm.
“Both Circular (as the celestial sphere) and rising (as in a spiritual journey), the central space contained a minaret called the Muslim community to transcend the earthly values through their faith and continuing the quest for recognition infinity “.
Exhibitions and film screenings will be presented on both sides of the ramp during the ascent into space.
At the top, visitors will have access to an air-conditioned garden, designed to be usable even in extreme heat summers of Saudi Arabia.
The lower spiral staircase to descend bear the inscription of the 99 names of Allah, the names of God in Islam, which will be visible from a gallery space on the ground floor.
The outer wall of the museum include a stone after each country of the world where Islam is common practice. The rock Hejaz mountains near Mecca will be used for the interior.
“Inside, the rock is used to create alcoves and baseboards that visitors will cross during their ascent of the ramp,” said the architect. “This is where the presentations will be received, which tell the story of the Prophet’s life and enrich the understanding of Islam.”
Based in Hoxton, east London, Mossessian Architecture was created in 2005 by architect Michel Mossessian. The firm is working on many projects currently in the Middle East and Africa, including the renovation of Place Lalla Yeddouna at the center of the historic Medina of Fez, Morocco.
Among the projects of the company in the UK are the multi-purpose towers London Paddington Basin and offices in King’s Cross.
Mecca is the holiest city of Islam, where the Prophet Muhammad was born. Non-Muslims are banned from the city. The central mosque is home to the annual hajj pilgrimage solid.
Some guardians of the heritage expressed concerns about the development of the city in recent years, due to the indiscriminate destruction of historic buildings, to build shelters for the millions of pilgrims who visit Mecca .
Royal Clock Tower Makkah in Mecca was the height the second tower in the world until the completion this month Gensler tower in Shanghai.
The nearest airport is located in Mecca in Jeddah, the second largest city in the country, including a terminal is reserved for the hajj. The London architecture firm Foster + Partners designs for 8 billion pounds in Jeddah a transport system with metro terminal, ferry, bus and cycles.
Jeddah also plans to host the tallest building in the world, the Kingdom Tower currently under construction expected to reach 1000 meters.
Translation Gilbert Béguian