Mecca - Saudi Arabia
Our concept of architectural design exhibition expresses the essence of the journey, both physical and spiritual, that is Hajj. The heart of the museum and the permanent exhibition galleries is occupied by a void – which cannot be named – around which rises a continuous exhibition platform like an Archimedes’ screw that refers to the infinity of the quest for Knowledge.
11 600 / 4 600 m2
Architectural concept / Design of the permanent exhibition
Winner of the international competition - Project not realised
The will of this private project manager is to enable every pilgrim to access the keys to understanding the history of the Prophet. The Makkah Museum calls for gathering, solidarity and cooperation to combat ignorance and fanaticism.
Our concept of architectural exhibition design expresses the essence of the journey, both physical and spiritual, that is the Hajj. The heart of the museum and the permanent exhibition galleries is occupied by a void – which cannot be named – around which rises a continuous exhibition platform like an Archimedes’ screw that points to the infinity of the quest for Knowledge.
The project proposes an exhibition design infrastructure made up of large exhibition designs that are both spatially very marked and adaptable to all kinds of content: rock walls and plateaux, great films, the virtual library of the Korans of the world, the room of the 99 names of Allah.
The rock walls of the Muslim world
The walls of the building are composed of layers of stone from all the Muslim countries of the world outside. The interior facades on the galleries are equipped with exhibition devices that fit into the Hejraz and Corian stone strata and allow the integration of all kinds of objects, mediation tools, LED screens in narrow or wide strips, multimedia screens, showcases, display trays for large objects, benches. Niches dug into the strata allow visitors to rest and listen to songs, prayers and the sounds of nature. Stone trays are installed in the centre of the rooms according to the needs of the exhibition and allow the integration of pedestals, showcases, benches for resting, digital mediation devices…
In this introverted building, giant LED screens measuring 6m high by 35m long are installed and allow visitors to immerse themselves in timeless natural landscapes, landscapes linked to the life of the Prophet, or in details of magnificent Korans, or to share live events with other Muslim communities around the world. Filmed in quiet movements, they give the galleries different atmospheres throughout the visit and according to particular events.
At certain points along the route, these screens also allow visitors to interact with the content presented: flying over the mountains around Mecca, discovering the cave in augmented reality, …
The virtual library of the Korans of the world
The rest areas and individual reading areas of the virtual Korans are accessible either from the galleries or by going down the stairs they accompany. The floor is covered with specially woven carpets. Quran doors, made of a slightly bent steel plate, receive white books on which are projected the pages of the most beautiful Qurans in the world’s libraries. By turning the pages by hand, the visitor activates the virtual pages of the Korans.
The original Qurans are displayed on nearby display trays and in a controlled light atmosphere under glass. They interact with images of the Koran broadcast on the big screen.
The Room of the 99 Names of Allah
The high point of the tour is that this room is the only place from which all 99 names of Allah can be seen. The railing of the staircase that constitutes it, with a decreasing height towards the top, accentuates the impression of infinity of this helical space like a sunken minaret. The zenithal light is reflected by the white helix. The names inscribed on the underside, i.e. horizontally, create the impression of a virtual dome whose keystone is the name of Allah. In slightly golden LED light, they move very gently upwards in a heavenly movement towards the top of the dome.
Visitors are invited to sit on seats that tilt slightly backwards to contemplate the 99 names of Allah. No visitor taking the stairs is visible from this space, which refers to the sacred.
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Architects, leading firm :
Mossessian Architecture - London
Architects, exhibition design :
Ateliers Adeline Rispal - Paris
All trades engineering :
AECOM - London
Multimedia engineering and design :
InnoVision - Paris
3D Images :
Antoine Buonomo, Arthur Reboul-Salze
Interpretive planning :
AP'Culture - Paris
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