The age-old notion of using naturally occurring or local building materials to construct monumental buildings is a noble one, timeless and deeply rooted in place. While traditional practice is all but disappearing from most of the world, the environmental, social, and economic advantages of such an approach are too great to be ignored by the contemporary building industry. The Al-Jaleel Friday Mosque, located on the northern seafront of Jeddah, the region’s historic port city, was designed following those principles. The project was conceived from the start as a load-bearing structure using locally fired bricks for the walls and the vaulted ceilings, forming all the necessary structural and mechanical details. But the challenge was to win the hearts and minds of the engineering team.
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