Atkins' proposals for Mecca's transformation Video
"A video detailing Atkins’ proposal to transform the Haram Mosque, one of the world’s holiest sites in the city of Mecca, has been leaked.
Atkins has confirmed it is no longer among the practices pitching for the development to increase the capacity of the Saudi Arabia mosque to three million to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims that visit the site.
But full details of the scheme it submitted have emerged showing segmented two storey covered viewing platforms at the site.
Early reports suggested that 13 practices were competing for the project, including Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Faber Maunsell.
Hadid has told BD that she has not heard anything further about the project.
Foster & Partners are still thought to be working on a scheme after the practice revealed that it had won a commission to design the stations for a new high speed rail link between Mecca and Medina, another key pilgrimage site in Saudi Arabia.
And a source told BD that Faber Maunsell was developing a video of its proposal for the city for a presentation this month.
Other designs seen by BD – from an unnamed architect - include a proposal that would level the existing cityscape around the mosque and replace it with skyscrapers that step down to the site around a large plaza. Another proposes a series of suspended umbrellas over the site.
The mosque scheme is part of a major $12 billion redevelopment of the ancient city, with five other areas around the mosque site highlighted for development.
Construction work has already begun on a cluster of skyscrapers funded by the Saudi Binladen Group. The Abraj Al-Bait complex, which will include the world’s second tallest building, is by Egyptian engineering and architecture consultancy Dar Al-Handasah who has also been linked to the mosque project. "