The new DITIB mosque is being erected near the center of the city on a highly frequented street-crossing. This cultural center is grouped around a raised plaza which opens up to Venloerstrasse, accesible here over a wide public stair. This plaza is not only a public urban area but, through it’s raised position, can also offer visitors a degree of solitude.
A two-story basar is located at street-level above a large subterranean parking-garage and which, filled with shops and a restaurant, will fill the center with life. Accessible from the basar and the street is a large conference-room.
Located on the right-hand side of the plaza is the main prayer hall, flanked by a building for ritual washing as well as areas for women.
At the end of the plaza, in a central position and on axis with the grand stair, is the library. The fountain at the far end of plaza not only invites visitors to explore the depth of the plaza, but is also a religious symbol.
Framing the plaza on the left is an elongated structure which primarily houses offices. Encorperated into this area is also a small museum for islamic art.
The buildings which frame the plaza were erected according to the codes of the existing urban fabric. Height, massing and choice of materials create a homogenous environment. The main prayer-hall however, although built with the same materials, plays—as a solitary within the ensemble, more of a unique public function.
The expressive structure is created by sevel layers of concrete shells which form a dome in the center. The design lives from the interspersion of interior and exterior, from light and shadow, solid and void. Along the edges of the hall are interconnected mezanine-levels, accessible via stairs along the side of the plaza.
The hall receives daylight through recessed bands of glass, giving the structure a high-degree of transparancy. Two solitary minarettes flank the central prayer-hall.
All exterior surfaces are unified by the warm, velvety character of the surface of the hammered cast-in-place concrete, forming the structures to a striking ensemble.
This unifying character is also found within the treatment of light, how it is drawn in to the depth of the structure, augmenting individual areas and their given roles while creating unique atmospheres.
The complex of the central mosque was built according to the highest degree of environmental standards. Over 70% of the necessary energy for heating and cooling is won on site through the utilization of geothermal resources.
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