The great pilgrimage "Hadj", one of the five pillars of Islam, leads millions of believers to Mecca / Saudi Arabia every year. According to the Koran, every believing Muslim should make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca. For years, the number of pilgrims has been increasing, forcing the country to architectural and urban extensions of the Al Haram Mosque, the largest mosque in the world.
The number of possible participants in the Tawaf (orbit around the Kaaba) and Sa'i (ritual to and fro) is currently limited due to the sub-optimal infrastructure and insufficient sanitary facilities. The planned extension will extend the pilgrim infrastructure to the nearby valley and the mountains north of the Al Haram Mosque and will provide space for 1.5 million pilgrims in the future.
The design takes into account the local climatic and cultural conditions in a special way. It is based on a grid of gigantic umbrellas that provide shade for pilgrims, plazas and buildings while at the same time reducing the heat effect. Folded together, they allow for natural cooling and prayer under a starry night sky. As small, discreet individual elements, the umbrellas also conceal the view of the distant skyscrapers and thus permit spiritual contemplation without visual distractions.