Reykjavik Mosque and community centre | Мечеть и общественный центр в Рейкьявике

Competition, 2015

A contemporary Mosque should be much more than a rigid container for congregational prayer and there is a genuine opportunity for such buildings to become a multi-use environment for a wider community. The brief presents an exciting opportunity to shun explicit design languages (minarets for example) for more nuanced and confident design proposals to form a considered manifestation of identity and cultural meaning. In this way the Mosque can nurture relationships with the neighbouring and future development while also representing a progressive Muslim place for worship and cultural activities.

Arranged over two floors the building massing responds to the prominent site while also framing views between the key elements of the programme, and to a sheltered courtyard, to create an open and inviting form. The brief requires the creation of two large and flexible spaces for congregational prayer and cultural activities to which we have added a third, more informal set spaces at first floor level, physically linked by spiral stairs or spatially through circular openings. The most generous of these lightwells, over the worship hall, allows direct and filtered light to below while also organising a suite of more informal and quiet spaces that can be used flexibly for study, meditation or social activities. Adjacent to this a small library has an informal relationship to the sedum planted external spaces through large windows with blackout blinds.

The prayer hall and auditorium are spatially separated and organised by two 'drum' like columns with sliding acoustic screens either side to allow a variety of configurations. Above, delicately folded and filigree curtains within the central glass volume are illuminated by an elegant pendant light that brings character to the space in parallel to reinforcing the identity of the Mosque at night. The finely articulated facades are formed by richly veined Icelandic grey marble punctuated by a ribbon of recessed white medallions and large metal framed glazed openings. Internally the material language is one of robust simplicity with waxed or stained oak joinery and linings.

View of the simple main entrance

Ground floor plan

Street facade

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