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Architecture Watch: Holy Hajj!!!

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In a benchmark of architectural insanity, Zaha Hadid and Lord Norman Foster are allegedly amongst 18 international architects invited to redesign Mecca's Masjid al-Haram (Holy Harram) Mosque. A seven tower, mixed-use development designed by Dar Al-Handasah, Abraj Al Bait is already under construction across from the Holy Haram; six will serve as residential units, while the seventh will be a 5-star hotel. All sit atop a podium that will house retail (what else?) and conference facilities. Zaha/Foster/Whomever's expansion will be put to good use -- the hajj is a super-crucial event, and when complete will hold a staggering 9 million, three times its current capacity. [World Architecture News]