Jeddah Makkah: Collapsed collage of the Holy Mosque by Tamara Hamad

This is an archive page for Jeddah

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.


Makkah vs Makkah

Sunday 22 May – Wednesday 1 June 2016

In its second year, the AA Visiting School Jeddah continues its innovative exploration of Makkah. Building on the findings collected in our first year, we will follow in the spirit of the explorer, and voyage to document the holy city beyond the confines of the Holy Mosque, to record and represent both the visible and invisible landscapes of the city and to explore the everyday life of the inhabitants and the pilgrims.

Students are challenged to create and invent methods of documentation to conduct their own site and field research, fed and aided by the VS Archive Library, which they will contribute their research and findings into to shed alternative perspectives on the Holy City.
Supplementing our investment in research, students will collectively work on sections that cut through the entire city, revealing the heart of the city. The section outlines casted and drawn in the first year, will be used as a backdrop for students to further detail and develop and project onto the city an anticipated image of the future.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed
- A unique opportunity to attend the first architectural workshop of its kind in the untapped territory of Saudi Arabia.
- To be part of an event that has become a highlight in the Jeddah and Middle East design calendar, with collaborations and partnerships with bodies across the region from Kuwait, Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
- Lecture series: Lectures are presented throughout the duration of the workshop. The lecture series explores a wide array of architectural and cultural topics, which are delivered by architects, designers, economists and local policy makers. This aims to embolden the students’ work with a deep and rich source of architectural knowledge from an architectural standpoint as well as from an alternative perspective.
- Cultural events and excursions. Trips into Makkah will allow students unparalleled access into sites around the Holy Mosque and city, usually not open to the public. Site visits are not restricted to Makkah, but also venturing out in Jeddah and its surroundings.
- Software exposure: Students will be will be able to develop and supplement their CAD and 3D skill-set with workshops and regular exposure to Rhinoceros, the Adobe Creative Suit and presentation tools with the help of a CAD technician with many years of experience In the industry.
- Teaching team: The teaching staff comprises of working architects and past graduates of the AA, based both in Saudi Arabia and internationally. The high tutor to student ratio allows the opportunity for students to directly engage with persons from all over the world whom have worked for some of the largest and most sought after architectural practices.


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page. If you are not able to make an online application, email for instructions to pay by bank transfer.
2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered to the programme.
The deadline for applications for non GCC residents requiring visas tbc
Applications deadline for residents of the GCC are due tbc

Please note applicants should check their visa entry status into Saudi Arabia. All applicants must notify the AA of their travel arrangements upon applying for the visiting school, in order to arrange visa issuance with the Ministry of Interior. Students requiring visas should not delay their applications after 19th February, to avoid delays.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £725 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee.

Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. Students need to bring their own laptops, digital equipment and model making tools. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.

The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals. Software Requirements: Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino (SR7 or later) / or an equivalent CAD Drafting software

Effat University
P.O.BOX 34689
Jeddah 21478
Saudi Arabia

Programme Directors
Hussam Dakkak is an architect based in London. Hussam received his Diploma in Architecture from the AA, and is currently practicing at Squire and Partners. Hussam previously worked with Rare Architects, and co founded the AA Seoul Visiting School.  Hussam is also co-founder and partner at Studio Bound (a multidisciplinary design and research studio based between Jeddah, London and Kuwait), which has recently partnered with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority on the design of a pavilion for Abu Dhabi Art.

Basmah Kaki is an architect based between London and Jeddah. She received her Diploma in Architecture from the AA. She was awarded the RIBA Bronze President’s Medal, the SOM Foundation Travelling Fellowship and the Design Council award. Basmah has worked in London with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Sir Peter Cook. She is programme director of the AA Jeddah Visiting School and is also co founder and partner at Studio Bound, a multidisciplinary design and research studio based between Jeddah, London and Kuwait.

Hessa Al Bader is an architect based between London and Kuwait. She earned her architectural degree from the AA, where her final thesis was awarded an honourable mention in the Dennis Sharp writing prize. She is currently working with Wafra Real Estate in Kuwait, her previous experience includes working with AGi (Kuwait) and BDP (London). Hessa also serves as programme director of the AA Jeddah Visiting School and is also co-founder and partner at Studio Bound, a multidisciplinary design and research studio based between Jeddah, London and Kuwait.


Programme Directors
Hussam Dakkak
Hessa AlBader
Basmah Kaki

Visiting School Director

Christopher Pierce

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Links & Downloads

Programme site



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Visiting School Prospectus


The AA has undergone an educational oversight monitoring visit by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and have received its final report, which is available in full at:

The monitoring visit resulted in the following outcome:

The QAA monitoring team has concluded that we are making commendable progress in implementing the action plan from the Review for Educational Oversight.