The Skyscraper – Makkah Clock Tower
At the heart of the holiest Islamic city, Makkah Royal Clock Tower brings an air of modernization to the bustling historic center of Mecca. The tower was developed as a component of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project and provides comfortable accommodations for devout Muslims that make the journey to the city every year during the Hajj period. It is conveniently located adjacent to the Grand Mosque, which can accommodate up to two million worshipers over the course of the event.
The clock tower stands in the center of a high-rise complex called Abraj Al-Bait. Six smaller high-rises surround it at heights varying and accommodate both residential and HOTEL uses. True to its name, four colossal clock faces are mounted near the top of the tower. These clocks hold the record for both the largest and highest in the world. At night, the clock faces are illuminated by one million LED lights that transform the tower into a green and white beacon. Writing is inscribed above each clock, with the words “God is the Greatest” on the north and south sides, while the Koran adorns the east and west sides. The spire of the tower features a spherical observation center at its base. The spire is capped with a shining mosaic gold crescent that weighs 35 metric tons. A number of cultural amenities are present in the upper levels of the tower, including a center for lunar observation and a cosmology museum.
Since a great deal of residents and guests in the tower perform prayers five times a day, innovative solutions were provided in the elevator systems that transport people in a smooth and efficient manner. Group control systems were implemented that adapt to the travel patterns of passengers, intelligently anticipating their general location and destination. Using this technology, up to 75,000 people can exit all seven buildings without issue.
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