Upgrading the Historic Districts of Al Madinah al Munawarra, Saudi Arabia

 Location :  Al Madinah,

                  Saudi Arabia

                          Year : 2005

                           Work-scope : Preliminary Design


Al Madina Al Munawarra’s urban patterns carry an eternal message to Muslims. Placed there by the Prophet Mohamed upon his settlement of Yathrib, Al Madina’s former name, after migrating from Mecca in 622 CE, the town became the first urban settlement of the newly founded Muslim culture, and followed a number of definers, of which natural defences; in the form of its mountains, and natural resources; in the form of the water in its valleys and wells, helped shape it.

The upgrading of the historic centers provides an added value to the communities that inhabit them, as well as identifying unique urban values within each area. The two historic areas we were commissioned to develop are dynamic representations of the Prophet’s Journey and the history of the Message.

From the outset the four avenues towards the redevelopment were;

-Reclaiming the historic memory of the town

-Identifying the sites of the important historic events that occurred

-Establishing the relationship between the natural and built environment

-Respecting the religious importance of the place


Qubaa; a cultural, touristic and leisure hub;

Historic Event; the historic point of arrival of the Prophet, and thus the approach to the Haram Al Nabawy ‘s– Prophet’s Precinct.

Natural Heritage: The verdant valley connected to the palm orchards of the oasis and the wells that water it.

The heritage plan:

-Beginnings of the settlement process and the transformation from a rural settlement to a town.

-Orchard as a catalyst of settlement and source of produce

-The area as a religious destination

-The confluence of natural wealth with human urbanism


The Seven Mosques; urban center preserving the memory of Muslim battles and raids

Historic Event: AlKhandak Raid

Natural Heritage: The mountain range as a natural defence

The heritage plan:

- Views of the entire Madina form the top of the mountain

-Preservation of the memory and meaning of the raids

-The area as a religious destination