Makkah Western Gateway

Location: Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Type: Invited Competition With OMA New York
Size: 30 Acres
Program: 250 Room Hotel, Lobby, Conference, Restaurant, Hotel, Housing, Transportation, Recreational Areas, Retail

With the predicted doubling of the number of Hajj pilgrims from 2 to 4.5 Million in 2050, Makkah is today facing a challenge like no other city. This competition’s aim is threefold: first, to create a new interior highway and public transportation system; second, to allow development along both sides of this highway and lastly to render the entire development as a grand urban boulevard, which will function as a new “gateway” to Makkah.

By separating the highway from the development, the scheme creates the best of both worlds, a functional expressway as well as a separate “pedestrian highway”: a continuous, shaded walk along the entire length. The experience is punctuated by three public transit stations that act as transfers between private to public transportation as well as social, environmental and cultural condensers. The International Tower, Water Station and Collective Center each give the new MWG a charged new contemporary urban identity.