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Insight: Abraj al Bait (Mecca Clock Tower)



Every architecture built nowadays are in contemporary style, on par with the world now which is keen on developing and modernizing concept. Abraj al Bait is definitely an exception! This gigantic skyscraper which has been completed last year is designed in a style that all I can say basically is horrendous! It is so horrible, and ugly, until to the point I guess most of architecture people would criticized it heavily, and it is proven looking on the feedbacks given to the building all over the internet. It is a joke that this building is now exist in this world, showing a sign of disgrace to contemporary architecture.

It is actually a huge complex of towers, with the tallest one serving as hotel, topped with a huge four-faced clock and a gold-coloured crescent-topped spire. I can seriously see how it wanted to compete with the very much shorter Big Ben Tower, but both structures are totally having their different stories to tell. Big Ben is a historical Western structure, which I like the classical style of it. But for this new Mecca Clock Tower, is it really necessary to blend in the classical Arab style with Western style, and then further mixing it with a bit of glass to show modernism, and at the same time using an old-fashioned colour (brown) for the facade that only appears to buildings built many decades ago. Everything is so wrong!

Now this huge complex is already completed, and it holds several records; tallest hotel in the world, tallest clock tower in the world, world’s largest clock face, world’s largest building floor area, and the current world second tallest building (just behind Burj Khalifa). The tallest tower of the complex where the spire and the clock tower is reached the height of 601 metres with 120 floors. It is located right opposite the Masjid al Haram, the world’s largest mosque, which is considered the most sacred site in Islam that houses the Kaaba.

The tower have had its opening last year during Eid Mubarak, and the clock tower must be able to be observed from a very very far distance. The use of green colour for the four faces of the clock is another ugly choice. I wonder what is on their mind on deciding the design, and even the colours! I have to say it is a very huge and tall structure, but then it definitely do not stand in a position among the skyscrapers around the world which are supposed to be beautiful and magnificent! I have to seriously agree to a famous tagline referring to the building nowadays; ‘architectural absurdity’! Yes…the building totally makes no sense!



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