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Public buildings

Al-Masjid-al-Haram Mosque Mecca

Holy Haram Sharif Mecca Al Mukarramah and Extension, 24231 Mecca

Being commissioned to light one of the most important mosques in the world was both an honour and a great responsibility. Stefan Rath was astounded to learn that European baroque chandeliers were planned for Masjid Al Haram, the Great Mosque of Mecca. After studying Egyptian originals in detail, in 1975 he presented chandelier designs inspired by the rich Arab culture to the client, which were met with approval. Lobmeyr was the first chandelier designer to incorporate Islamic motifs into a chandelier. More than 1,000 pieces were made according to our designs—but unfortunately by a Czech company that delivered such poor quality they had to be replaced after only ten years. A later expansion of the mosque ushered in a creative phase that led to a completely new kind of chandelier. Here, too, Islamic motifs were joined with modern forms, resulting in some of the largest chandeliers we have ever built. We deliberately limited the ornamentation: The most important aesthetic feature was a beautiful balance between satin and polished metal surfaces, a contrast that is easy to see even from a distance. In the Islamic tradition, the design has a large ring surrounded by numerous light sources attached like satellites.

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