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Camberwell mosque scheme wins approval

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Makespace Architects has won the go-ahead to convert a 1960s pub in South London into a mosque

The Bethnal Green-based practice has been granted planning to carry out the final phase of itsr conversion of a disused 1960s public house into a mosque and community centre in Camberwell.. 

Designed for the local Nigerian community, the £400,000 project will include the addition of a third floor, a circulation staircase connecting all floors, and a three-storey front extension. 

The architects will use abstractions of traditional Islamic designs to ‘introduce colour and decoration to the prominent corner, using concrete, mesh and aluminium panels on the exterior walls’.  

The founder and director of Makespace, Shahed Saleem said: ‘Through the cladding of the building we are reinscribing it with a new visual language and symbolic value.

‘As a mosque, there are customary expectations of certain motifs associated with traditional Islamic buildings, such as arches, domes and minarets. We wanted to steer away from this language, as did the mosque itself, and articulate this as a cultural building through a more abstract and striking materiality.

He added: ‘We have therefore chosen a palette of three materials for the cladding, concrete panelling, ceramic tiling, and metal mesh screening. The re-cladding reflects the inner-city environment, and through its overt patternwork, brings some element of luxury and play into the locale.’

The scheme is expected to start on site in late 2012.

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