Mill Road Mosque — Cambridge

Muslim Academic Trust. Shortlisted competition entry, 2009.

The proposal for a new mosque in Cambridge seeks to develop a contemporary language for mosque building in Britain.

The programme of the building extends – in the tradition of great mosque complexes – well beyond the prayer hall itself, encompassing a range of activities from refectory and cafe, to mortuary and school. These functions are orchestrated around a series of external spaces which structure the depth of the site – from a public forecourt adjacent to the street, through to a world of private gardens at the rear, via an internal ‘souk’ which orchestrates the entry into the main prayer hall.

Whilst the plan form of the building is derived from the geometry of the site boundaries and the surrounding urban grain, the roof forms are orthogonal to the qibla orientation of the main prayer hall: the difference between these generates the unique form of the building.

The building establishes, at one level, a careful and modest engagement with its urban context. Set back from the street, the main volume of the prayer hall rises dramatically from this everyday context. With an array of gilded bricks building in density towards a golden crown, it becomes something transcendent, other, and perhaps somehow recognisable or familiar as a mosque.



Unit 14
21 Wren Street
London WC1X 0HF
t +44 (0)20 7837 7221
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Gwydir Street
Cambridge CB1 2LJ
t +44 (0)1223 516009
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2 King Edward Street
Oxford OX1 4HS
t +44 (0)1865 684004
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