Tuwaiq Grand Mosque

Jabal Tuwaiq, Saudi Arabia / 2019

Al Qiddiya master plan is meant to be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts. The 334 km² area development is located on Jabal Tuwaiq, a narrow 600m high escarpment that cuts through the plateau of Najd in central Arabia, running approximately 800 km from the southern border of Al-Qasim in the North, to the northern edge of the Empty Quarter in the south.

Recognizing Jabal Tuwaiq as a significant symbol in Saudi culture, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman once said, “The strength of the Saudis is like that of the Tuwaiq Mountain”. While the name Tuwaiq comes from the Arabic meaning of surrounding in a shape of a ring, it is one of the most beautiful deserts in the world, a desert that witnesses the blossoming of more than 2,000 different plant species during the spring season that turn the area into a beautiful green landscape. You can trace lines of green life in Tuwaiq, along water streams, that give the cliff (often called the end of the world) its unique form and character. 

To design a mosque in this context was a fascinating experience, it was challenging to synthesize between the spirituality of nature and the spirituality of the program and harness the metaphysical adaptability of both. Four streams, inspired by the four rivers of Jannah (Furat, Saihan, Jaihan, and Nil), were designed to draw people into the site, create a flow of movement and outline the arriving journey. These four streams create the main strokes of the architecture composition on site and defines the main zoning of the terrain. The main stream, known as the Green Spine, acts as a connection from the main public realm to the heart of the “Saha”. The Saha acts as a beating heart for the mosque and creates a multi-purpose public tissue gluing the diverse programs together.

The strata layers of the mountains and their natural relationship to the ground inspired the form of the prayer hall mass as well as the cultural and educational components. The intention is to emphasize the idea of buildings emerging from the site, resembling the sudden emergence of the mountain geologically. Toward the wadi an amphitheater is carved from the site, allowing the project to open its heart to nature. The rich and diverse programmatic interpretation put together, allows the project to become a beacon for Islamic culture blending together all spiritual, educational, cultural and social components.

Historically in mosques, the Qibla wall is decorated heavily by ornaments to symbolize unity of the universe and paradise. Instead, we designed a 3-dimensional lush garden showered by natural light that wraps around the prayer hall allowing prayers to indulge into a paradise of solitude and serenity. 

 

design team

Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Mohammad Abu Farha, Piyush Bajpai, Moeen Salam, Jacky Tang, Yazeed Obeid, Farah Abu Hamza, Khaled Abu Shahla, Arvin Padayo, Marija Krsmanovic, Adrian Duran, Mario Baez, Florencia Koncke, Paolo Grussi

  • client

    Confidential

  • program

    Mosque

  • built up area

    36,577 sqm

  • scope‎

    Architecture

  • status

    Proposal

Tuwaiq Grand Mosque

Jabal Tuwaiq, Saudi Arabia / 2019

Al Qiddiya master plan is meant to be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts. The 334 km² area development is located on Jabal Tuwaiq, a narrow 600m high escarpment that cuts through the plateau of Najd in central Arabia, running approximately 800 km from the southern border of Al-Qasim in the North, to the northern edge of the Empty Quarter in the south.

Recognizing Jabal Tuwaiq as a significant symbol in Saudi culture, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman once said, “The strength of the Saudis is like that of the Tuwaiq Mountain”. While the name Tuwaiq comes from the Arabic meaning of surrounding in a shape of a ring, it is one of the most beautiful deserts in the world, a desert that witnesses the blossoming of more than 2,000 different plant species during the spring season that turn the area into a beautiful green landscape. You can trace lines of green life in Tuwaiq, along water streams, that give the cliff (often called the end of the world) its unique form and character. 

To design a mosque in this context was a fascinating experience, it was challenging to synthesize between the spirituality of nature and the spirituality of the program and harness the metaphysical adaptability of both. Four streams, inspired by the four rivers of Jannah (Furat, Saihan, Jaihan, and Nil), were designed to draw people into the site, create a flow of movement and outline the arriving journey. These four streams create the main strokes of the architecture composition on site and defines the main zoning of the terrain. The main stream, known as the Green Spine, acts as a connection from the main public realm to the heart of the “Saha”. The Saha acts as a beating heart for the mosque and creates a multi-purpose public tissue gluing the diverse programs together.

The strata layers of the mountains and their natural relationship to the ground inspired the form of the prayer hall mass as well as the cultural and educational components. The intention is to emphasize the idea of buildings emerging from the site, resembling the sudden emergence of the mountain geologically. Toward the wadi an amphitheater is carved from the site, allowing the project to open its heart to nature. The rich and diverse programmatic interpretation put together, allows the project to become a beacon for Islamic culture blending together all spiritual, educational, cultural and social components.

Historically in mosques, the Qibla wall is decorated heavily by ornaments to symbolize unity of the universe and paradise. Instead, we designed a 3-dimensional lush garden showered by natural light that wraps around the prayer hall allowing prayers to indulge into a paradise of solitude and serenity. 

 

design team

Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Mohammad Abu Farha, Piyush Bajpai, Moeen Salam, Jacky Tang, Yazeed Obeid, Farah Abu Hamza, Khaled Abu Shahla, Arvin Padayo, Marija Krsmanovic, Adrian Duran, Mario Baez, Florencia Koncke, Paolo Grussi

  • client

    Confidential

  • program

    Mosque

  • built up area

    36,577 sqm

  • scope‎

    Architecture

  • status

    Proposal