A state-of-art grand mosque, with a gross floor area of 14,500 sq ft, is taking shape within Gate Avenue, the new premium urban retail, leisure and cultural development at the heart of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and is set to open in 2019.
With a capacity of over 500 worshippers, the mosque will serve all five daily prayer times, Friday and Ramadan prayers, and will be accessible 24 hours from street level through lifts and escalators, said a statement from DIFC.
From a design perspective, the DIFC Grand Mosque is set to create a new vernacular for this typology in the UAE, offering a modern, non-conformist facility with references to tradition, it stated.
The building form is a simple cube within a cube, reflecting the iconic Gate Building of DIFC. While the exterior is minimal, the interior tends to be more elaborate as it introduces an expansive main chandelier that is inspired by the traditional Muqarnas, said the statement.
The outer cubist form uses a hanging mashrabiya screen that acts as a veil to provide shade and privacy to certain areas and opens at the public areas. The screen is lifted to allow the intricate detail of the interior to be visible to the visitors of the area, it added.
DIFC Authority CEO Arif Amiri said: "The DIFC masterplan continues to introduce state-of-the-art, urban architecture that is designed to enrich the experience of our growing community of professionals, residents and visitors alike."
Spanning across 660,000 sq ft of built up area and 880 m in total length, Gate Avenue at DIFC will link the podium levels of all buildings located in DIFC, from the Gate Building to Central Park Towers.
Upon completion, the flagship development is set to enhance the DIFC’s position as a first-of-its kind destination with over 200 dining, boutique, retail and entertainment options, as well as the state-of-art DIFC Grand Mosque.
"DIFC Grand Mosque, together with the broader world-class offering of Gate Avenue, mark an important addition to the interconnected ecosystem we have at DIFC, and bring a new dimension to the attractive infrastructure we have in place," stated Amiri.
On the architecture, Amiri said the hanging mashrabiya screen around the mosque uses a geometric Islamic pattern that creates openings of different sizes and intensities depending on the function of the space behind the screen.
The screen is most open around the main prayer hall and becomes more solid around the services areas. The screen slopes up at the corner facing the main landscape area as to reveal the interior to the public. However, the privacy around this corner is maintained using a reflective pool around the two sloping sides of the screen, he added.
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