The Saudi architectural consultant INJ Architects The design of a unique mosque under the name Al Falak Mosque, which was part of a prestigious architectural competition that gained great momentum in the world of architecture, to design the Bristol Mosque in the United Kingdom under the banner and organization of the Royal Commission on Architecture in the United Kingdom.
Al Falak Mosque is one of the innovative and unique architectural designs, especially in the field of mosque design. The design was inspired by modern architecture and the philosophy of architectural citation of organic elements, and this was the reason for its distinction from other places of worship. Referring to the architectural philosophy of the Falak Mosque, it goes back to another and brave design under the name pragmatismbased on computer design.
The challenge that this design embodies is the difference in its form with the rest of the other mosques, whose design is traditional and customary. It has a curved and sculptural shape, which makes a statement to both visitors and worshipers. The long arch represents the minaret with a clear focal point; It is thus seen as a unique place of worship with a contemporary approach to a multicultural community and a unique beacon for years to come.. It also forms a distinctive architectural character that reflects the modernity and adaptation of Islam to any environment in different countries and between multiple cultures.
The visual form of the building was carefully chosen as it was shaped like a ship with deep meaning in Islam. This distinctive form marks a sign of the release of faith and a safe haven and the beginning of a spiritual journey for all who pray in it and even the visitors to feel complete comfort and silence.
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Although we do not claim that the design of the Falak Mosque fully complied with all the guidelines described for the design, as some additional information was provided very late, the design met at least 80% of what was expected and can be further developed.
In addition, the design is located in a prominent place where the building can be seen with ease and clarity from all angles, and can be visually navigated through spatial communication. The visitor must be able to track their arrival from afar. Access to the site is maintained at D’Urton Lane but the road to the plateau has been adjusted.
Although the location of the building’s footprint is placed differently from the location in the suggestive floor plan, we believe that this method is preferable for the following reasons::
- It can be downloaded immediately after reaching the platform.
- The main prayer hall can point in the direction of the qiblah without any visual obstruction.
- With the building on one corner of the site, the outdoor space has been optimized for outdoor patio and parking purposes.
Size and dimensions
As for the area of the Falak Mosque, its area is2382 Square meters.
Initially, the design consisted of only three floors, but we added another floor to enlarge the space and to enable the mosque to accommodate more worshipers and visitors. As you can see in the architectural plan of the mosque design, the two upper floors look horizontal, while the minaret (represented by the long arch) appears in a curved shape.
Move to the ground floor, its area is862 square meters, which is also the main prayer hall. This floor has a large curtain wall that is curved to represent the mihrab which ensures maximum natural light from outside. It can even accommodate 410 Prayer mat. An additional entrance can also be found in the main prayer hall on the ground floor.
The first floor is the foyer, as it has a direct entrance from the inner street of the mosque, and its area is 377 square meters. The landing site is covered by the overhanging shape of the building. Visitors are also welcomed in a large atrium with a skylight covered with a space frame. On this floor there are various services such as reception, ablution area, dressing room, and others.
The second floor is a prayer hall for women with their own ablution area and a child care facility. The area of this floor is 392 Square meters. It is placed above the main prayer hall with a concave glass wall to provide clear views of it.
The third floor includes the library, meeting room and community room, and its area is753 Square meters.
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The vertical flow is found on the perimeter of the building so that the space of the main prayer hall can be kept empty. To facilitate the transportation of visitors and worshipers, there is one staircase leading down to the main prayer hall on the right, and another to the women’s prayer hall on the left, in addition to the lifts available to the left rear.. Stairs are placed next to the buildings’ curvilinear geometry, and have unique zigzag shapes with dim light flowing on the curved wall. The structure of the building is white concrete. The material of the outer covering is GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete), which is widely used to form external cladding panels with complex geometry. It can also be shaped into any shape and size. And another benefit of the board GRC It is light in weight and durable for over a hundred years without losing tensile or flexural strength.
Landscape around the Falak Mosque
In terms of landscape, it can be identified as two parts soft landscape And hardscape.
The main ingredient in hardscape This is the plaza that can be found directly as it is opposite the entrance of the building. It has a semi-oval shape with a sidewalk pattern, surrounded by torsional concrete monoliths of different heights. These monoliths have a special meaning, as they have different angles at the base, but in the upper part they all turn southeast; That is, in the direction of Mecca. The different heights and angles make people from different levels of society come together and join forces for good. The monoliths themselves are also sundials; They give an indication of the hours of the day by the effect of sunlight on them.
As for the other elementsoft landscape It is made of trees that surround the perimeter of the sites as a barrier against wind and noise. Trees on the island in the parking lot provide, where possible, shade for cars. Inner streets are designed in a straight line for engineering purposes; It is a one-way street with a main loop that allows return to the mosque building. Parking is provided as specified with a minimum of 140 spaces, in harmony with the landscape scheme. Bicycle parking is also available.
Some say that building is a work of art, and this building can not be otherwise. The interior design of the building should be simple, white and not decorated, this is the best way to reflect its original shape. Indirect lighting can be used to wash out curved walls and maximize natural sunlight through the space frame ceiling and glass elements. On top of that, there are some extra chairs like twisted glass chairs that fit the stacking patio stones and are custom made to fit the space..
Mosque Architectural Design – Modern Mosque Design
The design of mosques in a modern way represents the new architectural development and modern Islamic design. Although we were not lucky enough to win a prize in this architectural competition, but we are convinced that the phase that will enter the field of mosque design is the share of such designs. How can you reduce friction in the time of epidemics and make the crowds of worshipers safe. This, of course, is what we strive for, because the Islamic architecture of mosques did not provide for decorations..
And if we go back to the origins of Islamic architecture, according to what Ibrahim Joharji says, its origins to the Kaaba are simplicity and true proportion. As the first mosques in Islam were made of clay and palm leaves, without exaggerating the external appearance. But with the development of Islamic science and art, we have managed to work excessively with decorations. We believe that building mosques does not imply two basic conditions: neatness and the direction of the qiblah. So this is what we need to focus on and be creative. Imagine that this giant mihrab lets you know the direction of the qiblah from anywhere around the tide; In this it is a consolidation of Islamic values and an ease to explain the Islamic purposes of the mosque and the place of worship. That is, it is not necessary to hear the call to prayer until you know the time of the call to prayer. You can easily see and know the position of the qiblah.
Link: engineering office