Look at This Fabulous Mosque of Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash by Dabbagh Architects
Project name: Mosque of the Late Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash
Architect: Dabbagh Architects
Project Location: Um Suqeim Road, Al Quoz, Dubai
Project Year: 2021
Site Area: 3731.27 sq.m (40,163.056 sq.ft)
Total Building Area: 1680 sq.m (18,083.3 sq.ft)
Principal Architect: Sumaya Dabbagh
Design Team: Aleks Zigalovs, Hana Younes, Sumaya Dabbagh, Sandrine Quoilin, William Java.
Structure Engineers: Orient Crown Architectural
MEP Engineers: Clemson Engineering
Landscape Architects: WAHO Landscape Architecture
The Late Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash Mosque, a fine contemporary worship place, can be recognized as one of the first mosques planned and designed by a female lead architect in the UAE.
The Mosque of Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash is an architectural design by Dabbagh Architects, a Dubai-based architectural studio. The design was led by its principal architect, Sumaya Dabbagh. The mosque was built by the family of Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash, a late businessman.
The client’s objective was to build a simple, quiet, and spiritual environment for prayer, aimed at the residents of Al Quoz, Dubai’s industrial core. Ambient daylight was employed to strengthen a sense of spirituality, the link between the earthly and heavenly, and to highlight the worshiper’s path around the structure by Dabbagh Architects.
The contemporary design has its facade featuring geometric shapes and calligraphy on the white stone. The mosque is also known as The Mosque of Light due to a play of natural light in the structure.
This place of worship allows a smooth transition from the hustling outer world to a calm inner experience for the visitors. The triangular patterned cladding of the mosque is an interpretation of the traditional geometry of Islamic culture but is infused with a modern language. The building is pierced by a succession of carefully placed same-shaped holes that allow regulated natural light into the inside while also giving a sense of tranquillity and spiritual connection.
Punctured shade produces a pierced light border when the worshiper enters the mosque, directing him to the ablution area. The physical cleaning promotes mental clarity and devotional preparation there.
The path further leads to a lobby area, which is a space where visitors open and remove their shows. The narrative is such that it aims to act on deploying the materialistic world.
“Muslim prayer is performed throughout the day at prescribed timings: at dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset, and at night. This discipline creates a human connection with the natural day and night rhythm. The experience created through the design of the mosque seeks to enhance this connection through a controlled introduction of natural lighting,” stated Sumaya Dabbagh, the principal architect and design lead of The Mosque of Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash.
“Creating a space of worship was a very particular design challenge. A Prayer is a devotional act. It requires the worshipper to be totally present. With all the distractions in our modern busy lives it can be challenging to quieten the mind and find an inner calm to allow for full immersion into prayer,” added Sumaya.
The design team used locally available materials in this project, such as stone sourced from Oman and concrete, aluminum, cladding, woodwork, and ceramics from the UAE, to enrich the user’s experience.
The design development took place by dividing the building volume into two parts-
The first part being the prayer block accommodating separate male and female prayers area, and the second block is the service block incorporating ablution facilities and residential areas for the leader of the prayer (Imam) and caller of prayer (Moazen). This division led to the formation of a central courtyard with a sculptural canopy that knits both the volumes together.
The perforations in the structure welcome natural light to pierce into the spaces, imparting a peaceful ambiance and striking a sense of connection and belonging to the spirituality. These perforations also assist to keep the mosque’s interiors cool.
The internal heavily ornamented skin incorporates the same triangular design as formed on the rest of the structure that enables light to penetrate through the dual-layered dome.
As lines converge over the walls, floor carpets, and light fixtures, Islamic patterns are reinterpreted and harmonized with the triangular geometry of the structure.
Calligraphy has also played a significant role in the design of the mosque. Surah- a verse from the Quran envelopes the prayer hall to form a figurative safety ring, highlighting the spiritual essence of the space and injecting sacred energy all around the structure.
The design responds to the noisy site settings, vernacular materials, and a unique user experience. These three considerations led to a contemporary design of a worship place- A design that fits well in place and time.
Rather than designing a conventional mosque with multiple blocks, Dabbagh Architects focused on creating a clean minimalist form that stands out. The design philosophy aims to create a memorable user experience through a design language that ignites a sense of the sacred.
The Mosque of Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash by Dabbagh Architects is a well-crafted culturally important building that forms an intimate relationship with its location. The design and concept of the building enforce a dialogue between architecture and its site context. This building seeks a deeper connection to the world of spirituality and divinity through its poetic architectural language.
The structure has been designed in a way that there is a play of light and shade inside the building through the means of solid triangular geometry. This is accomplished in three ways: in verticality, through the punctured dome, which enhances the spiritual relationship to the heavens; in an indirect manner, behind the Mihrab, which highlights the central focus in the prayer hall looking in the direction of prayer; and, through a play of light from a series of small openings in exterior skin.
The use of traditional Islamic patterns, scripts in the form of architectural calligraphy, and local materials enhance the user experience and lead to a smooth transition from the outer world to the world of peace and spirituality.
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