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Makespace shows off Aberdeen mosque plans

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[First look + plans + project data] London-based Makespace Architects has released these images of its proposed £1 million mosque and community centre in Aberdeen

The 852m² scheme, which is set to become the city’s largest mosque with a planned capacity of 800 worshippers, won council approval earlier this year.

The project will see the conversion of an existing warehouse together with a two-storey, new-build street frontage.

Work is set to start on site early next year (2014).

The architect’s view

The ‘oil capital of Europe’ is a city of great character and we can see that the Aberdeen community is going to make this an exemplary project.

The city centre mosque is to be formed through the conversion of an existing warehouse, combined with a new build 2 storey front element creating a new street frontage.

The building is designed to hold a capacity of 800 worshippers, and will also accommodate community services and activities. Aberdeen has a large cosmopolitan Muslim population, many employed in the oil industry or studying at the city’s universities.

Our design approach is based on our vision of Britain’s Muslim communities as progressive and creative members of society and we want the building to reflect this spirit. 

The mosque speaks of being fully Scottish, fully British, and fully Muslim all at the same time

Therefore we do not simply want to import Muslim architecture from other countries, and from other periods, without thinking about it. We want the new mosque to be part of contemporary Britain, and this is reflected in its styling as a piece of contemporary British architecture. 

Britain’s diversity brings new cultures, new histories and new ways of seeing the world. Muslim communities are part of this new diversity, and they bring a rich history and tradition to share. We want this cultural heritage to be reflected in the building, and have therefore combined the contemporary architecture with traces of an Islamic architectural past. 

We are also aware that the building should belong to its place, and we achieve this through its materials, local stone and modern cladding are combined to reflect the surroundings and embed the building into the city.

In this way, the new Aberdeen mosque speaks of being fully Scottish, fully British, and fully Muslim all at the same time. It is a new architectural approach that combines and balances local architectural style and tradition with that from the rich cultural heritage of Islam. In this way we hope the new mosque represents and reflects the spirit of Aberdeen’s diverse communities, and serves as symbol around which understanding and interaction can happen.


Project data

Architects: Makespace Architects 
Location: 41 Nelson Street, Aberdeen
Type Of Project: Place of Worship & Community Centre, Conversion + New build
Structural Engineers: TBC
Project Architect: Makespace Architects
Design Team: Shahed Saleem / Sarah Shyne
Client: Al Hikmah
Funding: Private/ donations
Tender date: December 2013
Start on site date: March 2014
Contract duration: 9 months
Gross internal floor area: 852m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: Design and Build
Total cost: £1million
M&e consultant: TBC
Quantity surveyor: McLeod + Aitken
Planning supervisor: Knight Frank
Lighting consultant: TBC
Main contractor: TBC
Annual co2 emissions: TBC

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