mosque in reykjavik

2015

competition for designing a new mosque in reykjavik

 

The new Mosque of Reykjavik is looking for its ideals in the Islamic historical tradition and the Icelandic nature. The building rises itself adapted to the surroundings but appears strong by its own full identity.

The volume of the qibla appears from the mix of the two main conceptual elements in a mosque: the qibla wall and the minaret tower. The result is a landmark as wide as the qibla and as tall as the minaret. This narrow volume of 20 m2, raises almost perpendicular to the motorway from where the view of the Mosque will stand out and be highly visible.

The geometry of the building starts from 2 formal requirements in the project: the qibla direction and the street direction from Reykjavik´s urban pattern. The program, solved in 2 stores and a basement for the parking, organises in bands parallel to the qibla containing the different functions. In the street level, through the lobby, and crossing the ablution, the Worship appears being the qibla the final end.

The auditorium, kitchen and a vestibule are in the second level with access to the terrace. The auditorium has a clear visual and physical relation to the worship.

The parking place is under the main body of the building and related to the rest of levels by a lift and a staircase, that allows loading and unloading for the kitchen and the embalming room, even though a direct driving connexion to the embalming is also possible.

After applying the different needs of high from the program, the result is a dynamic volume, that reminiscences the organic Icelandic nature in its mountain shape. A walk along the roofs leads you up towards the upper part of the qibla, where a quiet place is inviting to pray out in the nature. The geometry of the curved roofs are part of big circles.

The facade of the building is designed with layers made of different materials and textures. The internal part of the facade will be built with lava coloured concrete and the external part will be like a hijab, a net with decorative motives inspired in the Islam geometry, made of corten steel. The high, wide and narrow volume of the qibla is made with only two layers of this metallic net connected by a steel structure and containing a staircase. This produces the “moiré” effect and this landmark becomes dynamic and gives presence of the mosque from the motorway. The same effect is produced in the rest of the building between the geometric nets and the reflection made on the concrete and glass. So you can see all the facades in movement when you arrive walking, cycling or driving.

The filtered sun light from this volume, will enter through and produce light effects on the qibla and the floor of the Worship.

Stone floors with patterns and natural carpets will be the flooring materials. The Interior climate will be controlled in a hight sustainable way, with radiant underfloor complemented with an efficient system of natural renovation of air and humidity control.