A place designed to allow for full immersion into prayer
The Mosque of the Late Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash in Dubai is one of the first mosques in the UAE designed by a female architect, Sumaya Dabbagh, principal and founder of Dabbagh Architects. The project uses materiality and natural lighting to create a sense of calm and spiritual connection. The triangular pattern, which characterizes the whole building, is a reference to traditional Islamic geometry, but reinterpreted in a contemporary language.
The Mosque of the Late Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash is conceived as a calm and spiritual space for prayer, for the community of the Al Quoz, the industrial heart of Dubai. Through the design, a series of spaces are created that allow the worshiper to transition from the busy outer world and prepare for an inner experience. Natural light is used as a tool to enhance a feeling of spirituality and create a connection with the divine.
“Muslim prayer is performed throughout the day at prescribed timings: at dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset, and at night. This discipline creates a human connection with the natural day and night rhythm. The experience created through the design of the mosque seeks to enhance this connection through a controlled introduction of natural lighting”, explains Sumaya.
The design accomplishes this utilizing three techniques. First, there is a heavenly dome riddled with holes. Second, there are thin elongated piercings on the sides that allow sunlight to infiltrate the spaces. Third, the punctuated patterned façade shares its tiny intricate lit shapes within.
The main volumetric structure is split — a service block contains the ablution facilities and residence for the Imam (the leader of prayer) and Moazen (caller of prayer) and a prayer block includes female and male prayer spaces. This split forms a courtyard which is adorned with a canopy joining the structures. Additionally, the project’s materiality and pattern pay homage to historic Islamic architectural language while introducing a more contemporary dialogue.
Calligraphy plays an important part in the project: a Surah (verse from the Quran) provides a protective embrace embodying the spirituality of the prayer hall and of the place.
Location: Um Suqeim Road , Al Quoz
Client: Family of the late Mohamed Abdulkhaliq Gargash
Site Area: 3731.27 m2
Built up Area: 1680 m2
Architects: Dabbagh Architects
Structure Engineers: Orient Crown Architectural
MEP Engineers: Clemson Engineering
Landscape Architects: WAHO Landscape Architecture
Photography by Gerry O’Leary, courtesy of Dabbagh Architects