Grand Mosque, Islamic architecture, Mosque, Mosque architecture, Mosque design, PCT, Premier Composite Technologies, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia mosque roof

Dubai firm builds world’s ‘largest’ sliding roof in Grand Mosque expansion

Dubai-based Premier Composite Technologies (PCT), which built the world’s largest clock in Saudi Arabia, is currently giving final touches to what is believed to be one of the “largest sliding roof on a mosque in the world”.

The company, headquartered in Dubai Investment Park,  made headlines recently for building and installing the “largest freestanding carbon-fibre roof” on the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

Speaking to Arabian Business, PCT’s principal architect Gabi Bohm confirmed that the ceremonial dome in Makkah includes an octagonal-shaped roof, 38-metres in diameters, which can be moved over the roof deck for natural ventilation in the mosque.

The project is part of the $9.3 billion (SR35bn) expansion undertaken by the Saudi government at the Grand Mosque since 2015.

The roof structure, which was built in Dubai, and then shipped and assembled in Makkah, comprises composite panels fixed to a structural steel frame that is supported on four electric wheel drives, Bohm said.

The wheels provide controlled operation of the roof and allows it to travel along stainless steel rail system, anchored to the fixed part of the building, she added.

The dome uses a mechanism that has already been used in mosques built in Madinah, though the size of the roofs there are 20 metres in diameter.

Ceremonial dome in Makkah includes an octagonal-shaped roof, 38-metres in diameters.

The internal and external composite panels on the dome are supported by a 470 tonne steel frame, while the weight of the entire dome, including the boogies and outer cladding, is 800 tonnes, the company said.

In its company brochure, PCT claims Dokaae Tower is the largest clock in the world and has a face size of 43 metres in diameter, standing 601 metres high. The clock is visible in all districts of Makkah, it added.