Saudi Arabia’s Holy Mosque of the Prophet in Medina is a spectacular sight to see with its stunning architecture and ornate design, then couple that with two expansions and massive outdoor courtyards. Yet it needed to accommodate more people – 250,000 to be exact, so they came up with an extraordinary canopy concept called the Madinah Piazza Shading Project.
Based on its design for the courtyards of the Prophet’s Mosque, SL Rasch developed a new type of software-controlled umbrella (that opens/closes depending on the position of the sun) that’s equipped with an innovative folding arm system with six hinges. These massive and exquisite, umbrellas provide protection from the sun/weather for a floor area of 150,000 m² and its Teflon fabric is dirt-repellent and super-durable.
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During the summer, the base of the umbrellas emits cool air. In the winter, the umbrellas open up in the evening to capture the warmth of the day and prevent it from escaping. When folded, the umbrellas are protected from the sand and wind by “cladding panels made of a glass-fiber-reinforced composite.” Decorated with elegant mosaics made of weatherproof glass tiles, the umbrellas take just 180 seconds to fully open or close.