The Huge Convertible Umbrellas In The Prophet’s Mosque Were Designed By A Muslim German Architect – Here Are 5 Facts About Him
Very few in Saudi Arabia know about Mahmoud Bodo Rasch but his contributions have been immense in this part of the world as he was behind many large projects in the kingdom.
1. Born in 1943 in an artistic family, Rasch studied architecture in the prestigious University of Stuttgart.
It is while he was studying there that he started working and served as a project leader for the convertible umbrellas project in Bundesgartenschau, Cologne.
2. He converted to Islam in 1974.
This was after he took part in an urban development competition that sought to provide pilgrim accommodation in the tent city of Mina in Saudi Arabia.
3. Rasch then found his own architecture firm called Rasch and Associates in 1980.
His company became renowned for bringing Islamic design into forms of lightweight construction.
4. It was only then that he got the project that he is most famous for that being the one for building convertible umbrellas to shade the piazza of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
In 2011, a new lot of 250 convertible umbrellas were installed that spanned over an area of a whopping 143,000 square meters.
5. Other noticeable works by Rasch in Saudi Arabia include the Abraj Al Bait Towers in Makkah, convertible umbrellas at the Royal Terminal in Jeddah and the fireproof tents in Mina.
Internationally some of his most prominent projects include the Expo 2000 Venezuela Pavilion at Hannover and the domes for the Putra Mosque in Malaysia.