Islamic Holy City Mecca May Get Starchitect Redesign

Big-name architects -- including Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid -- have reportedly been tapped to be part of a team of designers tasked with redesigning the Islamic holy city of Mecca and its mosque.

"According to sources, the scheme for Islam's holiest city could create a huge new structure around the central Haram mosque that will eventually be capable of holding three million people, making it the 'highest occupancy' building in the world."

"The top-secret plans are being backed by King Abdullah ben Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia who has asked a hand-picked collection of starchitects to 'establish a new architectural vision' for the 356,800m2 mosque complex."

"The AJ believes that the project is likely to be phased, with phase one transforming the mosque from having an official capacity of 900,000 to 1.5 million. This will then go up to three million with the completion of several phases over the following five to 10 years."

Full Story: Foster and Hadid to redesign Mecca

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