New Mosque in Preston

Preston, Lancashire, UK

Year: 2021, Status: Proposal

exterior view of the new mosque from south across parking
View from south
Isometric view of the extension.
Interior view — main prayer hall

The site is on a hill on the outskirts of Preston, Lancashire. The design brief sought to create a modern landmark religious building with a strong and bold design for the local Islamic community.

A mosque with a main prayer hall for 300 mats with a ladies’ prayer hall for 150 mats was required. Its ancillary facilities included ablution areas, janaza (morgue), office, cloak room, community rooms, childcare room and library. Sahn (external courtyard) for informal meeting and relaxation was also a part of the brief.

For creating an architecture which represents the culture of Islam today in the North of England, our design intention was to produce the delightful rhythm of traditional mosque architecture without relying on the triptych of mosque design vocabularies — masonry domes, semi-domes and arches.

The design was inspired by the ‘crinkle crankle’ walls, the serpentine garden walls built traditionally in England. The sinusoidal walls were arranged to form a a lighting box, which will be constructed as a steel frame structure with brick cavity walls.

Catenary velaroid RC shell was chosen for the roof, which does not have almost any bending moment and works purely with compression. The shell happens to produce a subtle low-profile appearance similar to the domes of traditional mosques developed by the Ottoman master architect Mimar Sinan.

The resulting space is a solemn and airy contemporary prayer hall.

site plan
Site Plan