DWARA | Contemporary Divine Mosque
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04 Oct Contemporary Divine Mosque

The Design Concept

A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims—a place to kneel, stoop one’s head and pray solemnly. Oftentimes, it is also used to carry out various other religious activities.

The first thing that might catch one’s attention about this mosque is the absence of a dome, which is almost always a quintessential characteristic of mosques. However, the architects have informed that the dome is not a cultural/religious identity, hence not a necessity when it comes to designing an Islamic place of worship.

The architecture of the mosque is unique in that it uses stacked concrete blocks as the main facade to create tectonic effect, while embedding Islamic calligraphy on the facade as a graphic element and prayer reminder. The most important sentence for Muslims is eternal, attached on the facades of building in the form of concrete block layers, designed as a three dimensional giant calligraphy. When evening came, the lights in the mosque will glow out through the holes forming the walls of creed calligraphy; radiating Islamic calligraphy.

The primary shape of the mosque takes the form of a square, which seems the most efficient since Muslims pray in straight rows facing a specific direction of the Qiblah. The structural columns are arranged in such way that the facade seems like it is not supported by any frame. This shape also alludes to Ka’bah, the most important structure in the Islamic world, to which all Muslims’ prayers are directed. Ka’bah is a simple box. Therefore this mosque is such a simple box, but has massive religious message.

The tall pole-like structure next to the square building form is called the minaret, an important element for mosque. It was used in the past for someone on top of the minaret to call out to all Muslims to pray whenever praying time has come. Today, the minaret still serves the same function, except loudspeakers are used instead. In a way, the minaret has become an icon of mosques; anyone searching for a mosque can see it from afar.

With a capacity to accommodate approximately 1,000 people, the mosque is also designed to ‘blend in’ with nature. The stacked concrete blocks and roosters allow for natural ventilation without the need for air-conditioning. Surrounded by water, the ambient temperature around the mosque will be lower during the hot season. Mihrab form is designed as a place to present oneself to God with the concept of “Greatness of Nature” since it is open directly overlooking natural landscape of the mountains and hills. This symbolizes that human is always humble and see the greatness of nature, he solely communicates with his Lord and adores His grandness. Khatib podium is designed on the water with a large copper ball bearing calligraphy of Allah. Once inside, the people are able to look out and appreciate the external scenery.

The landscape concept of the mosque was inspired from the concept of Tawaf around the Ka’bah. Therefore the landscaping and open space is designed in the form of circular lines around the mosque.

Within the interior of the mosque installed 99 units of light boxes on the ceiling. On each light box there is a metal plate forming calligraphy symbolizing each of sacred 99 names of Allah or Asmaul Husna. The purpose is to symbolize the people who worship and pray in this mosque, Allah willing, receive the blessing and guidance of all the goodness of 99 names of Allah.

 

Identifying ‘Green’ on The Mosque

Aside from design concept that has formed the Mosque building, there are extraordinary considerations on the use of material, the well being of people as the user and the community, the integration with surrounding landscape and master plan, and last but not least is the adaptation with local tropical climate.

The concrete block layers is an artwork installation for itself . The process of designing custom local material to fit into design concept was with effort in coordination and meticulous architectural detailing. The concrete blocks was fabricated less than 100 kilometers away from the building site. Fewer resource in raw material, transportation, along with ISO certified factory immediately reduced energy with minimized waste.

The natural texture of concrete blocks is exposed to gain local building character and a feeling ‘at home’ for the worshipers, instead of trying to be outstanding or distanced from the user. The concrete blocks were layered to form the creed in calligraphy. The result also has given the facade a texture of solid and void, positive and negative, and the most importing thing is to bring natural ventilation inside the building. The solid look of cubical form of the building actually has pores along the facade and gives it not only fresh air to the users but also to the building itself.

The concept of natural ventilation is in line with local tropical climate, without the usage of air-conditioning. The structure of the building also in favor of climate change as well as earthquake resilience.

In the daylight there is no energy used for lighting as natural daylight comes in through the facade pores as well as from open mihrab and main entrance. The concept of open mihrab not only gives an exceptional view of surrounding landscape but also shows the greatness of nature which represents Allah. The view from the opening goes along with the mihrab which was designed to face the direction of Qiblah.

Ninety nine light boxes which symbolize 99 names of Allah are shadowed on the lighting box naturally without the use of daylight. While at night, the lighting is used to light the interior as well as showing creeds on the facade. The serenity of the Mosque interior yields a magical calmness and comfort for the worshipers, humbled.

Since the opening of the Mosque, it has been a place of gathering. Not only of the community inside the development but also from surrounding village area as there are no boundaries in worshipers. Religious and social events has been held in this Mosque. It has been an icon, a place of profoundness and elevates the well being of the community; physically and psychologically. Even while it is contemporary, this Mosque has been reflecting a sense of place and faith for the users from different way of life.

Ninety nine light boxes which symbolize 99 names of Allah are shadowed on the lighting box naturally without the use of daylight. While at night, the lighting is used to light the interior as well as showing creeds on the facade. The serenity of the Mosque interior yields a magical calmness and comfort for the worshipers, humbled.
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