It is a construction project full of superlatives: the world’s largest tower clock in Mecca, the Holy City of Islam. The minute hand measures 23 meters in length and its giant clock face is 43 meters in diameter – therefore this gigantic clock tower is 35 times larger than Big Ben. The outer façade is adorned with over 98 million glass mosaic tiles with 24-carat gold leaf. By night over two million LEDs illuminate the tower clock making it legible from distances of over eight kilometers. At the end of construction, the building at the center of the sacred site breaks over 30 world records.
The documentary The Mecca Clock Tower explores the engineering breakthroughs behind the development, fabrication, and installation of this unique timepiece. Together with its partners, the architecture firm SL Rasch in Germany faces some unusual challenges. The team enters the project with a high-rise building already under construction, a tower not designed to support a 150-meter-high clock tower and a strict weight limit of 82,000 tons. As the pressure mounts, the team battle to construct the world’s largest clock at dizzying heights and in racing winds. How do you keep the structure as light as possible? And how do you deal with the toughest logistical challenge of all: a construction site out of bounds to everyone but Muslims. Time is short and the schedule is fixed. It promises to be a very, very close finish…
Shot over the course of 4 years in 10 countries across Europe, in the Middle East and the United States, the film tells the amazing story from the first idea to the realization of one of the most innovative construction projects of the 21st century. The documentary reveals the Holy Site in Makkah in a way that has never been seen before. In addition to the main film a seven-chapter series focuses on specific aspects of the Makkah Clock Tower Project in extra detail.
The film was widely broadcast internationally in over 20 countries by channels such as Discovery, ProSiebenSat.1, TRT, Canal plus and Al-Arabiya. The documentary The Makkah Clock Tower was selected as winner for the Nasir al-Din Tusi Award at the 2015 Ahvaz International Science Film Festival.