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YEAR: 1993

DK’s dome building system involves innovative techniques, first developed by members of the DK team (formerly affiliated to SL GmbH and Speedwave, Germany) for the Sliding Domes of the Prophet’s Holy Mosque in Medina, which began in 1990.


The 27 sliding domes demonstrate the successful integration of traditional wood-carving craft with state-of-the art composite materials and computer-controlled production techniques. Covering twenty-seven internal courtyards, the domes provide mobile roof that counteract the extreme temperature changes, and control and support the air-conditioned environment of the mosque. Resting on a steel framework on four wheel carriages, the domes are designed to move on high-grade stainless steel tracks. The non-corrosive wheels have a direct-drive mechanism powered by electric motors that are digitally controlled by the main computer. 


The outer cladding panels are of carbon-glass fibre epoxy laminate with ceramic tiles bonded integrally to the outer surface. The internal cladding is of wood-epoxy laminate, with maple-veneer facing. Inner dome surfaces are richly decorated in Moroccan hand-carved ornaments with gold leaf highlights and studded with turquoise coloured Amazonite stones set in gilded bezels. Each dome is capped by a gold-plated finial.


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