Works: New Mosque
The aspiration for a unique, modern landmark is met with a design concept that is grounded in its setting and historical context. Our proposal is for an enduring building that stays relevant to its users as well as its environment.
The site is visible to the public as well as worshipers and is an opportunity to display a bold and welcoming image. Its principal design concepts are therefore transparency and pride. Pride is expressed through a simple and confident design that is both recognisable as a place of worship and uncompromising in its bold expression. Transparency is expressed through its materiality and welcoming configuration.
The functional spaces are arrayed around a central courtyard (sahn), with access to each room via a colonnade. This is a traditional approach to mosque design and is grounded in sound principals, which we have adopted here. In doing so, we have adapted the colonnade to be an internal space, in recognition of British weather; yet kept open views across the courtyard with glazing. The courtyard is not a closed space – the building peels open to show glimpses of the garden inside to the general public, and to create a welcoming entrance sequence to all. The façade wraps upwards in a dynamic gesture to create a minaret. This distinguishes the building as a place of worship and elevates its prominence. It also allows the mosque to sit comfortably alongside the tall church spires of Preston in longer views.
The building is imagined as a sculptural lantern, signalling the mosque’s presence in longer views, and acting as a silent, long-reaching call to prayer. The façade wrap is formed of anodised metal panels with a decorated pattern carved out. Light will shine through the cut pattern at dawn and dusk, illuminating the building and giving it an ethereal quality. At day, the wrap façade will appear more solid, and its character will be mainly expressed as a strong, dynamic form. The carved pattern will appear like marble from a distance, with its naturalistic patina. The material palette is restrained and comprised of simple components which are easy to clean and maintain and are not readily susceptible to decay or fire. The facade wrap is a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Jali. The simple application of a single, durable material to cloak the building creates a delicate, intricate, and unified form that reflects the past whilst embracing contemporary design and fabrication.
In collaboration with George King Architects www.georgekingarchitects.com