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 faithto 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.
Its program includes a public reception space, 5,600 square-meters of permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, an auditorium, an educational space, a book store, a roof garden, and a restaurant.
The exhibition scenography is placed at the core of the museum. Studio Adeline Rispal designed the core of the building, which is occupied by a void that visitors ascend as they pass through the exhibition galleries. Mossessian Architecture supplemented this by designing a continuous ramp system and a spiral staircase used to circulate the void. In one of the gallery spaces at the base of the spiral, visitors “can gaze up at the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah inscribed on the underside of the cupola formed by the spiral.”
“As visitors journey through the museum, they learn about the life of the prophet through exhibits and panoramic films installed to either side of the ramp, ultimately arriving at a ‘garden of delight’ at the top of the building.” These geometric gardens form spaces where visitors can comfortably gather even in the hottest months of the year.
The design also proposes using stones sourced from countries all over the world where Islam is practiced for the exterior, and Hijaz rock from the mountains of Mecca for the interior walls.
General Contractor And Structural Engineer: Thai Obayashi, Chanawit Anukkul
Lighting Design: Gooodlux, Sirisak Pituck
From the architect. Architectkidd has completed a building using steel tubing as its primary material.
The building, a production studio and offices for a television station called Now 26, is a renovation of an existing structure. During the initial stages of the project, removal of the old cladding exposed the existing steel structure along with the electrical and services installation. 19mm steel hollow tubes were selected as an economic and utilitarian architectural material to compliment the structure and systems that remained in place after the renovation.
The use of steel tubing allowed the design to be developed ‘inside-out’. The steel tubes were used throughout the interior spaces and in various scales from ceiling to furniture installations. By varying the density and patterning in different applications, the steel tubes extended out towards the exterior and were attached on to the existing structural frame. Bending and curving the steel tubes were achieved by construction workers and tools typically used for installing electrical conduits in buildings.
From a distance the building is white and opaque, with the exterior rendering an effect of a solid surface composed of diagonals and contours. Up close, the exterior appears more transparent, like a wire frame that wraps around and into the interior space.
Following the recent completion of 432 Park Avenue in New York City, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced that there are now 100 supertall (300-plus-meter) skyscrapers in the world. The majority of these skyscrapers are in Asia and the Middle East, mirroring construction trends that have emerged over the past decade. Dubai leads the rankings with 18 supertall buildings, while New York City now falls in second place with a total of seven, including 432 Park Avenue.
Standing at 425.5 meters, 432 Park Avenue is the tallest all-residential building in the world and the 14th-tallest overall. Impressive not only for just its height, but also its slenderness, it exemplifies the “superslim” typology made possible by advancements in lateral resistance technology. These narrow towers are prevalent in high-density areas, such as New York, where limited land availability and demand for luxury residences justify their construction, according to the CTBUH.
From 2010 to 2015 alone, the number of supertall structures has doubled from fifty to one hundred, a strong indicator of the growth of the tall building industry. According to CTBUH, more than one hundred more buildings will be completed within the next five to six years. With supertall structures becoming the norm, architects are looking to megatall (600-plus-meter) designs as the future for the world’s tallest buildings. Jeddah Tower, which will become the world’s tallest building once completed, measures in at an astonishing one kilometer high. Currently, only three megatall buildings have been completed, but that number will double in the near future as Jeddah Tower, and three others, finish construction.
Engineering: Margaret River Structural Engineering
From the architect. Located in an existing clearing within a section of remnant marri / jarrah bushland, this owner-built bush pavilion seeks to distil into built form, the feelings of camping under a simple sheltering tarpaulin.
Diagrammatically, the houses’ simple rectangular plan is separated east-west into sleeping and living zones and delineated by a change in floor level and a thick rammed earth wall that continues through the house into the outdoors. The rammed earth wall also defines the entry approach from the detached vehicle parking area.
All rooms face to the north to take advantage of the warming winter sun, except the main bedroom which turns to face the southwest views and enjoys spectacular sunsets filtered through the vertical trunks of the surrounding tree canopy.
The single bathroom enjoys the same orientation as the main bedroom and opens onto the bush via a glass door to give the experience of showering outside.
Two decked areas provide alternative ways to experience the outdoors – one open overhead for winter sun and star gazing to the north and a covered deck to the east for rain and sun protection.
The roof plane rises up to the north to provide a view of the sky and treetops through cedar framed clerestory windows that provide a warm and tactile contrast to the clear anodised sliding door frames.
Taking cues from the Californian cases study houses of the 40s, 50s and 60s, a 3.6m structural grid locates prefabricated steel frames that enabled the main support structure to be erected in a day and for infill timber framing to be subsequently carried out by the owner-builder within these frames under the sun and rain protection of a single plane roof.
The galvanised steel framing is expressed both internally and externally, creating a repetitive rhythm along the north and south elevations. The mottled patina of the galvanising continues to change as it ages.
Environmental sustainability is intrinsic to the design: passive measures such as northern orientation, efficient cross flow ventilation paths for summer cooling and calculated eaves overhangs for warming winter sun penetration are teamed with active measures such as power self sufficiency from a 3kW ground mounted solar array, a roof mounted solar hot water heater and a worm-farm blackwater treatment system that irrigates the garden with nutrient rich water.
All decking is recycled jarrah, milled from large dismantled warehouse roof beams. Ceiling linings are Australian Hoop pine from plantation forests and are finished simply with linseed oil. The plywood ceiling continues outside to the decks and eaves to accentuate the indoor-outdoor feeling.
The house employs a concrete floor slab for thermal mass, which has been simply machine trowelled smooth to provide a hardwearing and cost effective solution.
External materials were selected to be largely self finishing to minimise maintenance: zincalume steel, rammed earth and glass.
At this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial the directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda asked participating architects to demonstrate the “State of the Art of Architecture” by submitting projects that they felt told a story about architecture’s importance in society. As explained in this video by Politico Magazine, native Chicagoan Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects responded to this call by looking at an issue that has plagued American cities in startling ways in recent years: the troubled relationships between communities and their police forces. Often hidden behind fortress-like buildings, police stations in their current form tend to project an image closer to hostile than welcoming. But Gang believes it doesn’t have to be that way.
In Studio Gang’s proposal for the Polis Station – a concept named after the Greek word for community – elements of a police station are broken apart and integrated into their community. Police housing is woven into the existing neighborhood fabric to familiarize residents with officers, training and athletic facilities are opened to the community, and comfortable neutral sites such as cafes are designing to act as meeting places where citizens can fill out reports in a more inviting atmosphere. Even the main terminal building features a computer lab and a mental health clinic, so there is never any suspicion of what may be happening behind closed doors.
In Politico’s video, Gang talks more about the inspiration for the design, and community members including Delroy Burton, chairman of the Washington, D.C. police union, give their perspective on the project’s feasibility and potential impact on communities. For a project like this, listening to those voices is precisely what is needed to massage the design into something real. Ultimately, Gang admits that architecture cannot provide the entire solution to complex issues such as this, but hopes that the project can be seen as an “open-source” ideal for neighborhoods to try out pieces and find out what might work for them.