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Aidia Studio Proposes A Mosque Made Of Pointed-Arch Vaults In Preston

Aidia Studio Proposes A Mosque Made Of Pointed-Arch Vaults In Preston

London and Mexico-based architecture firm Aidia Studio have proposed a mosque made of a fractal system of pointed-arch vaults in Preston in England. 

Named New Preston Mosque, the 1,800-square-metre mosque complex is proposed at the highest point of the site on the outskirts of Preston. The design is aimed to be a landmark and distinctive element for Preston with its narrow, cascading pointed-arch volumes. 

With this project, the studio aims to contribute to a new age of Islamic architecture in the UK, emphasizing a new age of inclusiveness, tolerance, and dignity.

Aidia Studio explains that “we truly believe that there is no better vehicle to drive that effort of dignification and acceptance than contemporary architecture with its ability to materialize ideas into innovative physical spaces.”

Although the mosque seems to be divided into multiple volumetric arrangements, the interior of the mosque is designed as flexibly as possible to allow different programmatic functions.

Inspired by a module of the pointed-arch vault, which is the quintessential archetype of Islamic Architecture, the architects play, stretch and scale-up them with the different modules of pointed-arch vaults that create different functions of the program. The programmatic functions include minaret, ablution rooms, male and female accesses, a library, and a prayer hall.

“Apart from cultivating the symbolic gesture of the ascendance, we are able to define a journey which starts in the landscape, continues through the main access, cloakroom and ablution and culminates in the prayer room,” the studio adds.

“It seems appropriate that this ceremonial hall, be the most guarded space of the complex, at the highest point on the site and shielded away from the cars.”

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To orient the mosque towards Mecca, the team extends the main axis across the site by dividing into a grid where all elements, architectural, structural and landscape are aligned in a holistic manner.

As the studio emphasizes, this 4.8m grid creates a suitable framework for laying out the car parking and the pillars supporting the mosque’s vaults.

The studio adds that “Our architectural journey rescues the quintessential archetype of Islamic Architecture, the pointed arch. This centuries-old building feature transcended its origins in Persia and India and migrated into Europe where it was quickly embraced across cultures during the gothic period.”


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