Project
MOSQUE OF THE LIGHT

Location
DUBAI, UAE

Type
Competition. First Prize

Area / Size
4 800 sm

 

A flexible building framework that can be easily assembled forms the building’s structure. On this simple structural steel framing, series of fabric elements are hanged in order to define the interior space. Fabrics are distributed following a specific modulation and are used not only as cladding material but also as spatial organization elements, as they allow for the powerful plasticity of the building’s design while responding to specific functional demands.

The light steel structure and the array of fabrics exchange their properties, creating semi-open / semi-closed spaces, while accentuating the interplay of light and shadow. The curtains that are used in lieu of walls subdivide the vast space and underline the human scale, as their light and tactile nature responds to the circulation of people between them.

The cooling pond around the mosque, utilises grey water from the surrounding buildings. An embedded sprinkler system uses the grey water in order to moist the fabrics on the perimeter of the building envelope. The gaps between the curtains allow for the air to circulate and through the resulting evaporation they cool the space, enhancing the natural ventilation while taking advantage of the fabric’s breathability.

Overall arrangement works as a vertical louver composition that provides shade and glare protection against the harsh sun and also animates the elevation with the breeze. This provides a visual rhythm in relation to the building’s structure that results to a pleasant, spacious, cool and shady environment.

At night, the translucent nature of the fabrics gives the building a strong presence by illuminating a soft glow to the surroundings. The arrangement establishes a rhythm that is highlighting the unique textile texture. It gives to the form its essence and exposes the character of the internal volume.

The layering of textiles defines the gradual transition from exterior to interior. The undulations of fabrics create a changing rhythmical pattern enhanced by the continuous play of light and shadow that changes throughout the day. Interior is flooded with filtered sunlight that celebrates the patterns of everyday human rituals. The basically orthogonal prayer space is given a sense of flow from the light cuts, having a direct reference to the effect often used in Islamic architecture which revolves around the control of natural light.