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Fri 22 Jan 2016 01:11 AM

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UK firm picked to design Makkah Museum project

London-based Mossessian Architecture wins competition to design building dedicated to the Islamic faith

UK firm picked to design Makkah Museum project
An aerial view shows the Grand mosque and the Kaaba in in Saudi Arabias holy Muslim city of Makkah. (AFP/Getty Images)

London-based Mossessian Architecture has been picked to design the Makkah Museum, a new building dedicated to the Islamic faith in the Saudi holy city.

The Makkah Museum will occupy a site 7km from the Grand Mosque, which houses the Kaaba – the most sacred location in the world for Muslims, the design firm said.

The building will include 5,600 square metres of gallery space to host exhibitions related to the international practice and history of Islam and the life of the Prophet Mohammad, it added.

It will also contain a reception area, an auditorium, book store, teaching space, roof garden and restaurant.

At the top, visitors will be able to access a climate-controlled garden space, which is designed to be usable even in the extreme heat of Saudi Arabia's summers.

"The Makkah Museum will offer a unique interpretation and reflection of faith to 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," said the statement.

Mossessian teamed up with Paris exhibition architects Studio Adeline Rispal to enter the competition for the museum project and they have now been announced as winners.

Based in east London, Mossessian Architecture was founded in 2005 by architect Michel Mossessian and has a number of projects underway in the Middle East and Africa, including the regeneration of the Place Lalla Yeddouna at the heart of the historic Medina in Fez, Morocco.

The firm's UK projects include mixed use towers in London's Paddington Basin and offices in King's Cross.

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