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Saturday 16 December 2017
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ZongoNews Radio

Italian firm designs landmark mosque in Hail

HAIL — Rome-based firm Schiattarella Associati will sign the project for the new Al-Jabri Mosque to be built on an area of 22,500 sq. meters on King Abdul Aziz Road in Hail. Once completed, the mosque will accommodate about 3,000 worshippers.
Al-Jabry Mosque in a strategic location in Hail is conceived both as a service structure with religious and educational functions and as a landmark for the community.
The project starts from an in-depth review of the local area identity and its relationship with the urban surroundings in order to define formal and architectural key elements.
The complex develops around a central square, enclosed and cozy, which will be a meeting point. Access to the square is enabled through covered passages and small shaded courtyards.
All around the plaza, there will be commercial activities, coffee bars and restaurants, whereas on the upper level there are offices, libraries, Qur’an school and sports facilities for youngsters. However, the entire complex will be dominated by the main mosque.
The project signed by Schiattarella Associati is based on the Saudi cultural values of Najd architecture; it brings together the principles of a people-oriented city and a contemporary use of shapes and materials.
In the project blueprint, the mosque, despite its dimensions, seems floating in water surrounding it. The diagonal cut at the center of the stone-made façade marks the symbolic passage inside.
A place of meditation and sacredness, during the day, the main hall of the mosque is crossed by natural light seeping through along the perimeter in the intentionally empty space between the two walls, bouncing from one wall to the other and disappearing diagonally in the structure lighting it up in its lower boundary.
At sunset, artificial light follows the same path in reverse order, so that the building becomes a landmark from the outside and is for all to see.
The inner space is crossed by suffused and indirect light, which reflects on the rough wall surface and deeply penetrates into the mosque. Light increases its intensity while approaching the mihrab (the niche of the imam) to indicate the direction toward Makkah. The result is a space where light dominates underlining its sacredness and at the same time fosters meditation and prayer fully respecting local tradition and culture. — SG