• View of a typical module prototype

General information

  • Location address
    Mina Valley
  • Location country
    Saudi arabia
  • Year of construction
  • Name of the client/building owner
    Ministry of public works and housing KSA
  • Function of building
  • Degree of enclosure
    Fully enclosed structure
  • Climatic zone
    Arid - dry and hot all year
  • Primary function of the tensile structure
    • Sun protection


Amongst the most interesting of stressed textile projects in recent years has been the Mina valley project in Saudi Arabia. Every year two million followers of the Islamic faith make the Haj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. As part of the event these pilgrims travel to nearby mount Arafat, where they spend the night camping in the Mina valley. Following a series of fatal disasters culminating in a large fire in 1997, the Saudi government decided to replace the existing cotton structures with fireproof teflon coated glass tents.

Phase I of the project, which was carried out by Koch, SL and Tensys during 1997 and 1998, provided 25% of the planned 40,000 tents. Phases II and III were carried out by a different group with the membrane engineering provided by technet GmbH. Over 30,300 tents covering approximately 1,875,000 m2 were built and installed during Phase II and III making this the world's largest lightweight structure project.

As with Phase I, the majority of the tents were constructed from six modular designs. These rectilinear structures ranged in size from 4x4m through 8x6m, 8x8m, 8x9m, 8x10m to 8x12m. They were patterned from four triangular fields. Unlike Phase I, the fields were fabricated from cloth strips with the textile weft parallel to the outer boundaries.

Description of the environmental conditions

Material of the cover

  • Cable-net/Fabric/Hybrid/Foil
  • Material Fabric/Foil
  • Material coating

Main dimensions and form

  • Form single element

Duration of use

  • Temporary or permanent structure
  • Design lifespan in years

Involved companies