John McAslan + Partners - Baitul Futuh Mosque: loyalty, inclusivity, equality, respect and peace
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Baitul Futuh Mosque: loyalty, inclusivity, equality, respect and peace

John McAslan + Partners

Public Space  /  Completed
John McAslan + Partners

JMP has designed a new public facing facility including multi-function halls, community spaces, offices and administrative functions at the Baitul Futuh Mosque complex in Morden. The new stand alone community and administrative building replaces an existing administrative building on the site following extensive damage caused by a fire in 2015. Today the 13,000 capacity Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitul Futuh mosque complex is home to the existing prayer hall – dating from 2003 and largely undamaged by the 2015 fire – community spaces including function halls as well as offices, accommodation, dining rooms and television and radio studios.

The new street-facing administrative building with its own spectacular frontage is already a local landmark in its own right. Separate entrance points for pedestrians will improve safety on the site while encouraging the use of external public spaces for gatherings. We not only looked at replacing the destroyed building but also how to improve the functionality of the complex as a whole with a site-wide masterplan’. The north end was seen as the disregarded back of the complex; now it forms its civic focus, with the new building framing an expanded forecourt creating more space for gatherings, events and the daily tide of worshippers. A generous portico marks the threshold, a place to linger and chat, sheltered from the weather.

We were able to retain and repair elements of the fire damaged building including the two primary stair cores. This significantly reduced the extent of new build required and amount of carbon expended on the construction. The building was designed with a high-performance envelope and designed to BREEAM Excellent, minimising energy use during occupation. The design principles that inform the project’s longevity are key factors in making the building sustainable. Other measures like photovoltaic solar panels on the roof and water supply via a borehole on site also play a key role in reducing the carbon footprint of the mosque complex. In addition, water saving via a rainwater attenuation tank has been adopted by the design team, with locally sourced materials, where appropriate.

The new street-facing administrative building with its spectacular frontage is already a local landmark in its own right. Separate entrance points for pedestrians improve safety on the site while encouraging the use of external public spaces for gatherings. New vertical cores improve circulation, provide additional safety provisions and maximise accessibility for all users. JMP has emphasised the civic qualities of Islamic architecture through geometry, symmetry and the presence of a generous colonnade that is a beautiful feature. The new community building is dressed limestone with smooth and textured elements for visual contrast, including ornate Mashrabiya metal screens giving the building a dignity, richness and layering customary to Islamic architecture. The colour palette is restrained with bronze coloured detailing for warmth and interest. The aim of JMP’s design has been to create a timeless building that will age well as an extension of the local community. The new facility provides a much-needed resource to the local community and the flexible accommodation provided allows for a varied range of activities. This includes out-reach to local schools who as well as using the facility for tours and an educational resource also use the accommodation for exams, events and symposia, worship, education, and all manner of community activities are facilitated by the flexible and accessible configuration of the building, creating a landmark for the local community.

The core values of loyalty, inclusivity, equality, respect and peace are fundamental to the work the AMA UK. These principles were embedded not only into the design of the building but the way the client, design and construction teams worked together. The project was funded through donations from the community, and so community engagement was fundamental. We were also able to provide opportunities for young architects from within the community who developed all of the calligraphy.

Credits

 London
 United Kingdom
 Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (UK)
 03/2022
 5700 mq
 Confidential
 John McAslan + Partners
 John McAslan + Partners
 PDR Construction/ Ahmad Construction
 Price & Myers/ Andrew Turner & Company/ Elliot Building Services Ltd
 JMP_Baitul Futuh Mosque, London ©Hufton+Crow

Curriculum

John McAslan + Partners is an award-winning international architectural practice based in London, with further studios in Edinburgh, Belfast and Sydney. An extensive portfolio of projects in the UK and overseas includes commercial, infrastructure, residential, education, hospitality, urban design, cultural, heritage and landscape sectors. The practice has won in excess of 200 international awards, including some 300 RIBA Awards, has been named Architectural Practice of the Year and World Architect of the Year on a number of occasions, and has also won three Europa Nostra Awards, the EU’s Prize for Cultural Heritage, and is the recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade) in 2014 and 2022.

https://www.mcaslan.co.uk/home


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