Ideas for a new mosque.
Register: APR/22/2021, Submit: APR/22/2021, Eligibility: Registered architects, Fee: 35 GBP (Pound sterling) + VAT, Awards: Each of 5 entries in Phase 2: 4,000 GBP (approx. 4,630 EUR) + VAT
A local charity is seeking a talented and ambitious architect to develop ideas for a new Mosque on the northern outskirts of Preston, Lancashire, UK. The design solution should be of the highest quality, both enduring and at the same time modern and reflective of current trends. As such, the design team should seek to create a landmark building. The site for the proposed Mosque is at the western end of D’Urton Lane on the northern edge of the City of Preston. The site has been cut off by the recent completion of the Broughton bypass alongside the junction of the M55 and M6 and as such sits in a particularly prominent and elevated location. (Drone)
The intention is to produce a strong and bold design that is clearly identifiable as a place of worship but not necessarily to the extent that it is dominated by the traditional Islamic designs. Similarly, it is acceptable to have an element of Islamic flair or features but this is not paramount and if the building has minarets they should be subtle and modern in appearance. The building should have a clear focal point or strong design features which gives character and visibility at some distance. It should not be so institutionalised as to simply have the look of a contemporary office building.
Consideration should be given to the potential for the creation of an external courtyard area or sahn which would be part of the public realm and available for informal meetings or relaxation.
Detailed consideration should be given to the appropriate use of materials as part of the design but also in terms of the future maintenance and operating costs of the building which will be run by a charity. For example, it may be that a material such as marble or other high quality stone is acceptable whereas timber, although having the potential to add a contemporary element to the design, is not due to the ongoing maintenance requirements. Simple composite panels and cladding are unlikely to be the solution and the preference is most probably for the use of more traditional materials such as brick or stone, including marble.
Maintenance should also be considered not simply over 25 years but much longer.
The design of the mosque should not exceed three storeys in total, with a large prayer hall of double or triple height and a capacity for some 450 prayer mats plus circulation space. This area should be open to allow clear views for all worshippers. There should be no columns in this area, but the prayer hall does require a domed roof to accommodate a double or triple height grand space.
In addition to the prayer hall, other accommodation should include a ladies’ prayer hall on a separate floor with a separate entrance and clear views into the main prayer hall and an additional floor to provide space for a library and quiet contemplative study. Both additional floors should have their own ablutions. This area should extend to approximately half the overall footprint of the building.
The charity’s retained architects have prepared an indicative sketch of how the site may be laid out. This demonstrates a footprint of at least 730 m2 is achievable but this should not be regarded a minimum or maximum requirement.
The building should make maximum use of natural light where possible.
At this stage it has not yet been determined how the interior design will be addressed. Entrants are therefore encouraged to put forward their general ideas for the interior design which should be simple and not ornate with a general open and contemporary approach.
The architect should seek to achieve a zero carbon development or as close to this as is reasonably possible, subject to the demonstration of costs and benefits. This may include the achievement of a BREEAM Excellent rating or the equivalent but should look at all opportunities for the incorporation of renewable energy, enhanced thermal efficiency and sustainable materials where possible. However, such
renewables should not be visually dominant and should not be clearly visible in views of the building.
Given the location of the site, the potential is there for this to be a visually prominent building and the design should take advantage of this. It will be visible from both motorways, the surrounding area and, of course, close up.
It is therefore essential that the building makes a real visual statement from whichever angle it is viewed. It should become a real focal point and landmark building for North Preston and the approaches to it.
Consideration should be given to the potential for landscaping of the site. This should take into account short and longer distance views of the site to maximise the quality of the setting within which the building will site. There is a preference for the landscaping to incorporate a majority of evergreen species, but it should also address the emerging requirement for 10% biodiversity uplift.
There may be an opportunity to combine the scheme of landscaping with that to be undertaken by the highway’s authority on adjacent land. Maintenance of the grounds should be taken into consideration also.
The layout should maximise the opportunities for parking with a minimum of at least 140 spaces including disabled spaces and electric charging points. There should be no underground parking. Cycle parking should also be provided and thought should be given to the overall pattern of travel and accessibility to the site.
The parking should respect the landscaping scheme and not dominate the site.
The intention is that the mosque will be designed in accordance with the principles of great British architecture as evidenced by the many examples of grand places of worship throughout the country of a variety of denominations which take and apply a variety of influences which in this case can include Islamic style.
With a location close to the main built up area but in its own, prominent setting, visible from a large part of the surrounding area including key routes into Preston, there really is an opportunity for a great design to be achieved which will become a proud element of Preston’s skyscape for many years to come.
- Phase 1: Submission of concept designs.
- Phase 2: A shortlist of up to five designs will be selected, which will be elaborate.
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