HKR Architects has submitted plans for an 800,000 sq m hospitality complex in Mecca on behalf of a private Saudi Arabian client.
Designed to house 40,000 guests at a time, the Kaaki Land scheme comprises 10,400 rooms, reception areas, dining and multi-purpose rooms, prayer areas and a food court with capacity for 2,500 people in one sitting. The rooms are arranged in blocks around 13 landscaped courtyards and a central garden.
The scheme is located 3km south west of Masjid al Haram, the site of one of Islam’s holiest places. Traffic has been a key design consideration because of the need to accommodate large numbers of coaches during busy pilgrimage seasons.
The complex is expected to take nine years to develop in three phases beginning next year.
HKR said the scheme has brought the practice back into profitability for the first time in five years.
The practice’s director Jerry Ryan said: “In the depths of the recession it was hard to believe HKR could again flourish but we always had a vision, which we followed through. That is to deliver large-scale international projects while also serving UK clients.
‘The practice in 2014 is entirely different from the Irish HKR I co-founded, but that’s not surprising – the market has changed and so have we. We are now a multicultural international company.’