Bay Mosque
2015
Middle East - North Africa

The competition-winning mosque located on the east coast of Saudi Arabia is designed as a testament to the modernisation and free spirit of a local poet.
The Masjid located close to a natural bay is inspired by its proximity to the sea and it resonates not as architecture but as natural space. The seashell masjid dome which represents the protection of faith and faith itself which is the peal or spirit in every individual are key elements in the design.
The scheme also incorporates the five pillars of Islam, represented by the five minarets around the masjid. These elements will provide a glowing reflection in the water of the bay and will be a symbol of the values from which the community will be built.
The use of Islamic design principles and recognisable elements such as the Dome, Minarets, Water, Landscaping and the use of Calligraphy will help define an urban context and contribute to place-making and orientation. The Masjid will be a focal Point along the seafront and will complete Exhibition Park which is located alongside.

 

 

The orientation of the site is such that the qibla direction is almost diagonally across the site, creating four corners around the mosque proposal.
The top corner (South East) is heavily landscaped to protect against the traffic at the junction and three small minarets signal the mosque. The South West (Mecca) corner is characterized by its pool of water which separates the qibla wall from the sidewalk. The North East corner is marked by the tallest of the five minarets and the end of the first floor terrace while the North West is left open to retain the visual connection with the bay.
The geometry inherent in the form is a very efficient way of creating a dome structure. By making the beams perpendicular to the prayer lines, we can create a column-free prayer hall. The analogy is adapted by creating spaces between the structural ribs which allow light to animate the prayer space. These sweeping structural lines are carried on into the landscape, creating a unified project concept.

 

 

The idea of the Islamic garden is taken into account in the project as elements of the landscape. Prayer lines extend out from the prayer hall into the courtyard. The corner of the site is protected against a busy junction by trees and landscaping, which guide pedestrians along the side of the site, past the ablution area.
The Qibla Wall lands in a pool of water which reflects the mosque's beautiful dome and separates the mosque from the street, giving it the space it requires, thus transmitting its importance.
Our approach for the design of the Masjid was developed though our understanding and application of universal Islamic design principles.
These principles include the ethereal qualities of sacred Islamic architecture expressed. For example, in the reverberation of the Adhan inside the walls of a mosque, the narrative of light and shade from the mosque exterior to the qibla wall or the representation of ‘Ja’nnah’ and the cosmos by enclosed space.