The Expansion of the Holy Haram, Mecca

The Movable Skylights are huge retractable roofs on top of the South Elevation of the new Expansion of the Holy Haram in Mecca and come up with even a whole set of superlatives: 28m in length, 17m in width, an elaborate construction of stainless steel and glass weighing 300 tons and a total of eight carriers which lift and move the complete roof structure in a most impressive and yet delicate way at the same time

The Movable Skylights are truly one of the highlights of the range of services by RIVA. 54 nodes of solid cast steel retain 237 distinctly interconnected stainless steel profiles to yield an exceptional roof construction which supports multi layered laminated insulation glass panes.

Hundreds of glass prisms are attached on top of glass panes and nodes breaking the incident sunlight into its spectral colors. Underneath the roof construction, gilded blinds face the stainless steel profiles.

This semi-shell shaped roof is located on a 7m high balustrade on top of a nearly 70m high edifice and ventilates an imposing atrium spanning several floors.

The Movable Skylights are built at the highest level comprising multiple safety sensors and is also capable of smoke extraction in case of a fire alarm.

Altogether twelve Movable Skylights are installed on the roof of the South Expansion buildings. They are all to be opened and closed individually or simultaneously by a central control room.

In contrast to the Movable Skylights, the Lower Skylights of the Haram Expansion Building of the Holy Mosque in Mecca turn out smaller in size and cannot be opened. Nonetheless, the Lower Skylights are a masterpiece of its own.

Designed, constructed and built at the same high levels of RIVA’s quality, these fixed skylights let natural sunlight in the atrium beneath. 58 single panes of multi layered laminated insulation glass are supported by a rigid base frame which in turn bears a cleverly thought out construction out of stainless steel profiles.

All components are processed and refined perfectly, gilded covers and additional glass prisms embellish the Lower Skylights to an immaculate appearance.

Twenty fans in each skylight care for sufficient ventilation. Always combined in pairs, the fans are placed in five boxes at each long side under the skylight. The box covers are opened by powerful actuators, allowing the fans to ventilate the atrium in a very efficient way. Of course, the powerful ventilation feature is also meant for forceful smoke extraction in case of an emergency.

The complete luminaire construction, starting with the substructure including the electrical equipment right through to the gilded decorative plate has been designed, manufactured and assembled by RIVA. This system comes in numerous versions and variations depending on the distinguished applications

Cornice Lightings are powerful single LED lights, which are connected and controlled by a DALI controller. These lighting systems are completely manufactured and tested in Germany. Assembled in groups of 12 lighting fixtures on panels of stainless steel, they are deployed in particular as wall lightings.

In the style of a traditional Arabic oriel, which are projecting windows enclosed with carved wood lacework, RIVA has accomplished to manufacture oriels that are made completely of Aluminum and still look as if they are of solid wood.

Intricately machined aluminum components form the body of these oriels. To achieve the convincing appeal of a traditional wooden assembly and therewith integrating seamlessly into the surrounding architecture, while taking advantage of the durability and structural stability of an aluminum construction, each part is individually coated using a specialized coating technique.

RIVA uses its trademark Teflon-based coating system in combination with water transfer printing using custom-built equipment to apply a wood grain effect to components larger in size than technically feasible before.

Using this technique and equipment, virtually any design can be applied to nearly any surface or material allowing for limitless freedom in architecture and design of modern metal structures.

RIVA designs and manufactures sliding doors and gates in all conceivable dimensions, designs and performances.

The Foldable partitions consist of individual leaves made of aluminum, which interact in an ingenious way during an opening and closing process: when opening, the seemingly solid wall splits up into its single leaf units and folds them behind one another in order to stow them in a designated room hidden from view.

The dimensions of the largest already implemented solutions range up to 5m in height and 10m in width.

To ensure highest safety standards and rigidity all leaves are interconnected with a tongue and groove system when closed. Yet the custom-designed mechanism is engineered in a way that manual operation of even the biggest gates is possible in case of an emergency or power outage.

Each leaf is milled from a single plate of aluminum to achieve the perfect precision and quality of the structure we are aiming at.

Another highlight by RIVA are innovative solutions for swing leaf gates. RIVA offers two swing leaf gates and four swing leaf gates in dimensions difficult to imagine. With heights up to 7m and widths up to 14m these gates are mightily impressive.

One single gate leaf weighs up to five tons, for this reason powerful custom made motors are needed to ensure precise and smooth actuation.

RIVA has developed a security and safety concept for its gates and doors, to ensure perpetually safe operation. A weighing scale, touch and pressure sensitive sensors, state-of-the art camera technology and sophisticated control software warrant a reliable and secure opening and closing – the safety of man and machine is always granted.

The gates come in various types, sizes and designs, every gate embraces the nest materials of stainless steel, Aluminum and laminated safety glass, refined with gilding, patented Teflon-based coatings or simply state-of-the-art surface treatment technology.

Ornamental façade elements fulfill several functions. The most essential purpose of a façade is to protect the structure behind, whether it is a plain wall or an opening such as ventilation outlets or small rooms for loudspeaker systems. However, the most obvious reason for cladding an edifice with appropriate façade elements are their beautiful and pleasant appearances.

RIVA is manufacturing high class façade elements and screens by milling the most elaborate ornaments from solid blocks of Aluminum and stainless steel in Islamic architectural and decorative styles. Following century-old historic patterns, RIVA transfers the legacy of Islamic art into state-of-the-art façade technology in a level that has no equal.

By exploring the limits of size and level of detail of the facades, RIVA masters any challenges whatsoever and is always committed to find the best solution. RIVA’s unique and impressive machinery park enables manufacturing one-piece Aluminum façades with 16m in length and 2.2m in width from a single solid Aluminum block. This is a worldwide unique characteristic of RIVA’s services.

The façades are combined with insulated glass panes, gilding or printed-on designs and are protected against environmental influences by the most innovative coating and varnishing methods

The balustrades that are installed at the expansion of the Holy Haram in Mecca usually come in three different types. Either containing glass panes, accurately manufactured and highly ornamented Aluminum screens, or a mixture of both glass and Aluminum between two balusters.

The glass façade structures RIVA engineered for the North Bridges of the Shamiyah Expansion Project are quite unique in several different ways.

The sheer size of the individual insulated glass panes is beyond comparison to date. The 9m high glass façade is comprised of some of the biggest shaped and tempered insulated glass panes of this quality in the world. It is held by a supporting structure which is also made of glass giving it a lightness and elegance that is second to none. Additionally, each glass pane is completed with an elaborate ornament design accentuating the architecture

The glass fins, giving the façade structure the required stiffness and safety, are themselves unprecedented. Comprised of five individually shaped, tempered safety-glass panes that are laminated together. Each glass fin is fitted with milled blocks made of titanium that are joined to the glass fin during the process of lamination. These then inseparable titanium blocks hold the point holders that connect the glass panes to the fins.

 All glass façade elements for the North Bridges are constructed at the highest stage. Even the frames are an engineering feat by themselves. Milled with highest precision from massive solid aluminum blocks, they contribute to the quality and the exclusiveness of this project. All aluminum frame elements as well as the nearly 9m long transom beam forming the base office façade element are varnished with a special Teflon-based coating making the surface particularly durable and nearly impervious to pollution and staining.

Below the tall glass façade elements, each arch of the North Bridges is equipped with eight pivoting windows, which are designed to function automatically, controlled by the building management system. These pivoting windows are designed so that they add to the lightweight appearance of the façade elements. They are engineered in an exceptional way and as a result they work without any frames in between the eight individual windows.

The mechanical system hidden in the transom beam underneath operates the windows in such a synchronized method, so each window – when closed – is connected to the adjacent ones and thus forming a weather tight seal.

All components RIVA is supplying for the Shamiyah project are custom-engineered and manufactured exclusively for this project in order to meet the unequalled standard of quality and durability appropriate for a project like this