Clock Tower

Application / Environment
The Makkah clock tower, the central tower of the Abraj-al Bait development in Makkah, KSA.

At 607m tall the building is the second tallest in the world.  The top 200m of the tower is clad with over 40,000m2 of advanced composite panels, including the largest clocks in the world at 43m in diameter with 23m long minute hands.

Architect & Design:    SL-Rasch (Stuttgart, Germany)

Engineering & Materials:    Gurit, (Wattwil, Switzerland)

Fabrication & Installation:    Premier Composite Technologies(Dubai, UAE)

Premier Composite Technologies laminated the composite façade on direct CNC cut moulds of polystyrene block using a fire retardant laminating binder system designed and supplied by Gurit.

Why This Solution?
A self supporting composite structure was required that could withstand high wind loadings.  Composites were able to meet these requirements through use of a range of advanced composite materials.

The clock hands presented a particular challenge due to the long slender geometry and wind loading.  To meet the wind and geometry challenges, Premier utilized Gurit’s carbon fiber prepreg material with foam structural core.  The stiffness to weight ratio of the carbon prepreg combined with the mechanical properties and toughness of the structural core enabled the successful construction and operation of the lightweight, yet stiff, clock hands.

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