Big Job

Remaking Mecca

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz is commissioning new buildings in Mecca to treble the number of Muslims who attend the annual pilgrimage known as the Haj. British architect Norman Foster has been invited to tender plans for the northern expansion of the al-Haram complex and Brit Zaha Hadid and six other architects have been charged with re-envisioning the al-Haram mosque itself. In all, 18 architects have been approached about redesigning Islam's holiest city. The result will be a building with the largest occupancy in the world.