through modern techniques and materials. The surface of the columns is
inspired by the rich tradition of Islamic geometrical patterns. A bespoke
computer script was used to design the pattern of perforations on the
columns so as to vary and control the amount of light entering through
the roof structure, and thus an aspect of Islamic tradition will be revealed
through 21st-century technology.
A manual daylighting analysis could have been undertaken, but the
ability to ensure that each piece responds in the most effective way
would have been severely limited. It would also have been much more
difficult to ensure that the elements were fully integrated with structural
and manufacturing efficiency.
Light is an integral part of the design of any mosque. As prayer is dictated
by the time of day, so the path of the sun is arguably more important than
the location of the worshipper and the building itself. In another part of
the world we would use a similar digital analysis for the trajectories and
quality of light for that context, but the resulting design would no doubt
be rather different.
At night, the building will be lit internally within the roof and column
structure, casting shadows and accentuating the patterns while
minimising external light pollution.
The roof is designed as a landscape to be viewed from the surrounding
high-rise buildings with a minaret that will be illuminated at night
marking the mosque’s location in the cityscape. Ethereal, delicately
perforated and self-supporting, the minaret is dislocated from the roof
yet formed of the same proportions as the columns that constitute the
rest of the building.
We learn from every project we undertake and each design informs our
development, so our experience with using light in the mosque will
certainly be brought to bear in the future.
Right: the pattern of
perforations on the columns
shapes and filters light entering
through the roof
Below: a section view shows
how daylight is controlled both
inside and outside the building