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Mega-mosque project still stuck in sidings

Allies and Morrison’s East London mega-mosque is now two years behind schedule, with a planning application not expected until at least 2010

The £300 million project was originally due to be handed to planners in early 2008, but a source close to the job admitted ‘anything before Christmas is very unlikely’.

Allies and Morrison have been working on the scheme since mid-2007, when they took over the project from AJ 40 Under 40 outfit Mangera Yvars Architects who won the competition to design it in 2005 (design pictured).

The Abbey Mills Islamic Centre is said to be targeting a capacity of 12,000 and the 18 acre site will also include a visitor and conference centre, as well as a new entrance to West Ham tube station.

The original Mangera scheme had a capacity of 70,000, just 10,000 less than the neighbouring 2012 Olympic stadium.

Previous story

Mega-mosque changes hands (5.07.2007)

Allies and Morrison Architects has usurped Mangera Yvars Architects on the £300 million Abbey Mills ‘mega-mosque’ project in East London.

The 12th-largest practice in the UK, Allies and Morrison confirmed it was working on the project, but declined to comment further. The move pushes out the smaller Anglo-Spanish firm, which has been on the scheme since it won the competition in 2005.

Zaha Hadid, who turned down an opportunity to take on the project, backed her former employee, practice partner Ali Mangera.

Hadid said: ‘I felt it inappropriate to say yes to a project if there was already an architect on board.

‘There was land there for masterplanning, and [Mangera Yvars] was given the mosque to work on. We were then approached to look at the site, but when we learned that they were working on it, we turned it down,’ she added.

It is understood that Allies and Morrison was appointed after a design competition was held in December, despite Mangera Yvars still being under contract to work on the scheme.

It is now thought that the AJ/ Corus 40 Under 40 firm is seeking legal advice.

The original scheme – located in West Ham, a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park – attracted a mountain of negative press coverage.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I think that it is not appropriate to have a mega mosque in a largly Christian country,also the size and proposed site of the building are not ay all appropriate to the area,as has been expressed by a large majority of the local population.The problem remains that the muslim hirachy have and keep on stating that they do not want their members to intigrate with the British public.This means that any where there is a mosque,a large and growing population of muslims form no go areas for non muslims and so make even grater divisions in our society.It is essential that all incomers to our island become British citizens in every sense of the word.This does not preclude them from mentaining their indeviduality.My grand parents came to this country from a very different culture ,learnt the language and fitted in ,being proud of who they were and very proud and gratefull to be accepted into such a great nation.

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