Awards & Mentions
– 2016 World Architecture Festival Winner
A LANDSCAPE OF TOLERANCE
ISLAM BRINGING THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD TOGETHER
The Surah al Hujurat of the Holy Quran explains that God divided the world into Nations so that Islam and Allah could bring them together. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai has also emphasized the importance of tolerance and openness and the desire for Dubai to be the center of tolerance and togetherness.
We see that programmatically the mosque needs to be open and unveiled to promote tolerance and understanding. Programmatically the mosque complex includes a centre of Islamic Studies and Islamic Gallery expressed as a ring that circles around the mosque program. Accessible to worshippers and non-worshippers, the gallery is a is a glowing translucent ring that floats above the landscape below, calling people to respect the landscape and to learn about Islam.
THE ENDLESS INFLUENCE OF ALLAH AND THE CIRCLE
The circle is a universal symbol that represents the notions of totality, wholeness and perfection. God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.
The form of the mosque takes the shape of the circle. Spiritually this represents the endless influence of Allah. The simple perfection of the circle emphasises the importance of the whole self – this mosque is spiritual journey and completes the circuit of spiritual life. In the Islamic Gallery, visitors walk counterclockwise around the ring, looking outwards to the majesty of the Ras al Khor Wetlands with the Dubai Skyline beyond and looking inward to learn about the peaceful religion of Islam.
SUSTAINABILITY, BIODIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSAL LANDSCAPE OF THE MOSQUE
Sustainability is infused in the site and the architecture of the building. The façade of the Islamic Gallery is clad with a smart translucent skin of Building Integrated Photovoltaics which serve the dual purpose of dramatically reduce heat gain within the building while also harvesting electricity.
The area around the prayer volumes is naturally ventilated and is deeply shaded and cooled by the prevailing winds. To facilitate extended prayers during festive seasons such as Ramadan and Eid, air conditioning condensate water is used to chill a number of radiant cooling slabs under and around the mosque and at the roof gardens at the landscape level providing space for more than 2000 worshippers.
In this way the Dubai Mosque creates a universal landscape of prayer for a universal congregation. The respect for the world as a mosque underscores the importance of the restoration of the ecology of the creek as a place of prayer. As such the Mosque and boardwalk creates the opportunity to create a number of habitats to promote biodiversity. This includes submerged fish habitat shelves, Arabian oyster reefs, mangrove restoration zones and bird habitats in the minaret for the mosque.
The Ecological program invites tourists to visit the regionally significant wetlands and the Religious program of the Islamic Gallery invites people to learn the history of Islam and the process of Hajj. With more than 5 million religious pilgrims visiting Mecca every year we see Dubai, the mosque and its landscape as a place to appreciate the pilgrimage before arriving in the Holy lands.
We see the Dubai Harbour mosque as a simple, humble and elemental space that is fundamentally connected to The Tower.
It is a landscape within a landscape, where the majesty of Allah is honored through respect for the land.
THE WHOLE EARTH AS A MOSQUE – A LANDSCAPE OF TOLERANCE AND HOPE
Tawhid expresses a oneness with god where place and god cannot be separated. This can be taken to mean that respect for the landscape is respect for god. Indeed the whole earth can be considered as a mosque – the walled buildings to which men are summoned to prey are a convenience. To pay homage to this idea we start by restoring the Landscape of the Ras al Khor wetlands so as to create a mosque for the whole world – a landscape of tolerance and hope where the people of world can come together.
As a symbol of the breadth of the Islamic world we will create a landscape of the Islamic nations of the world. The roof of the Mosque will play host to gardens of the 55 majority Islamic Nations of the world. Each nation will send a shipping container of their soils from which a patchwork of Islamic gardens will be planted with the native plants of each nation. In return the containers will be sent back with gifts of Quran’s in the native language of the respective countries.
A boardwalk leading from The Tower to the mosque follows the shadow path cast by the tower during the summer sunrise. At the end of the shadow cast by the tower sits a wetland ecology center that brings people to the Ras al Khor wetlands and teaches the respect for landscape and its congruence with the message of the Quran.
Water plays a central part in the mosque and the landscape in which it sits. The water from the ablutions in the mosque is recycled in the landscape surrounding the mosque providing a source of life giving water for the landscape.
An ‘Axis Mundi’ of 55 light poles trace a line to Mecca. These 55 poles represent the ‘lights of Islam’ – the nations of the world where the majority of the populations are practice Islam.