UK opens doors of its first-ever ‘eco-mosque’ in Cambridge

The architects of UK's "first eco mosque" say the building will be a cultural bridge for Islam in Britain in the 21st Century.

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  • The UK opens doors of the first-ever eco-mosque.
  • The architects say that the building will be a cultural bridge for Islam in Britain in the 21st Century.
  • The cost of the project is £23m and has a capacity for 1,000 worshippers.
  • It finally opened after more than a decade in planning.
  • The timber interior is based on a Garden of Paradise “grove of trees”.

The architect’s of UK’s first ever eco-mosque or first ‘green mosque’ say the building will be a “cultural bridge” for Islam in Britain in the 21st Century. Situated in Mill Road, Cambridge Central Mosque collectively cost about £23m and has a capacity for 1,000 worshippers.

The mosque finally opened its door after a decade of planning. Spokesman Dr Abdal Hakim Murad said the “global city” of Cambridge had been “slow off the mark”. Dr Murad from the Cambridge Mosque Trust says that about 6,000 Muslims reside in the city. They had to pray in shifts at smaller, overcrowded Islamic centres locally as well as converted houses.

“There has been an urgent need for a proper mosque in Cambridge, it’s an overdue idea,” he said.

“Cambridge is a global city but it’s been slow off the mark in having a multi-cultural space like this.”

Marks Barfield Architects built the Central Mosque won the original contract in 2009. Anonymous leaflets were posted through doors of houses close to the proposed site. The leaflets urged people to object on grounds of potential congestion.


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But even after the consistent efforts, the mosque completed against all odds. Cambridge City Council said that it received 50 letters opposing the mosque while 200 in its support. The planning permission was granted in 2012.

In Pictures:

The timber interior is based on a Garden of Paradise “grove of trees”

 

Workers putting the dome of the building in place during construction

 

The interior is made of sustainable timber.

 

It is a ‘cultural bridge’:

The mosque is unique in its structure and pattern. It includes a prayer hall, ablution areas and accommodation for its Imam’s family and also for its visiting scholars. It boasts zero carbon on-site emissions, rainwater harvesting and air source heat pumps.

Julia Barfield, the principal architect, said the idea was to create “a truly British mosque in the 21st Century”.

“This mosque can be a cultural bridge, and takes the environmental message to one of the biggest faith communities in the world,” she said.

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