A place of worship has various concoctions; however, it is where the devout yearn for serenity, tranquility and peace. This is what the design of this Mosque seeks to address.
In the year 2001 a wealthy businessman and his wife purchased an amalgamated plot for the construction of a unique mosque in the eastern part of power loom town of Malegaon.
This pious responsibility was handed over to their sons who were to oversee the construction of this endowment to god to its finest detail. The businessman was keen to make this mosque “a thanksgiving to Allah”. Destiny had its own plan. The father passed away in 2007 leaving a Waqf deed with his sons.
The elder son had a larger than life responsibility in fulfilling his father’s endowment wish of building a masjid which could reflect the primary essence of Islam through its architecture. The construction started in 2011.
The plot admeasuring 900 square meters is located in a developing residential zone of eastern part of Malegaon with a major road on the west and minor roads on the north and south sides. In keeping with the endowment wish, the mosque would become a place for reflection, spirituality and social gathering (conducive to various socio economic activities) in years to come. The emphasis in design would be in translating the basic functional organization and the symbolic meaning inherent in Islamic sacral buildings in to a contemporary vocabulary both in technological and expressive terms. This would greatly enhance the quality of life in the environment and also create a sense of identity with the landmark structure.
PRAYING NAMAAZ FIVE TIMES A DAY IS ONE OF THE IMPORTANT TENETS OF ISLAM. The design of Masjid at Malegaon intends to reinforce this vital tenet to take believers from tangible to intangible state of mind by the serene quality of spaces both inside and outside. The mosque seeks to fulfill the traditional role as a place of spirituality and also to become an occasion for congregation.
Conceptually and spatially the theme of light as a physical component and a spiritual element is integrated in the design.
The design incorporates the essential elements of a mosque to create a new form and articulation for a typography that goes back for a millennium and a half. The result is a series of cuboids of different sizes paired to create a monolithic composition externally accentuated by a minar to form a well-balanced sky line and varying volumes internally with changing functions. Emphasis on indirect natural light through south- west and north-west corners of the west wall and a diffused light from the dome in the main prayer hall create an ethereal sense of candor.
The journey for the devout to offer prayers from the MUEZZIN’S CALL to the OBLIGATION is made transcendental by the simplicity of the structure finished in exposed brickwork laid to follow fine lines with precise junctions reflecting spirituality of the form. Provision of indirect light source through the morphology of the structure is adopted to create serenity in the space to enhance the process of offering prayers. Intensely worked out roof-light detail above the main prayer hall further integrates with the pious offering of “Namaaz”.
The western façade strongly reflects the massing created by indirect placement of windows on the North and the South corners along with Qibla, which has defined horizontal lines. The building is placed on the site embraced with a combination of hard and soft landscape with gentle curves to accentuate the foot print of the Mosque
The Plan follows the axis defined by the direction of “Qibla, with reference to the location of Kaaba” integrating the main prayer hall and the secondary prayer area (sehan) with open to sky semi-circular water body and plantation court flanked by areas for ablution and related facilities.
The mosque is characterized by a complex plan which is aligned to minor roads on north and south and aligned to qibla direction on the west where the major road lies. The skew thus created between street directions and that of qibla is used to house ablution facilities, office and store on the north east and south east sides. Entrances to mosque from the north and south sides create a movement axis which does not disturb the main prayer hall even with a large attendance of people. North side entrance connects to stair which leads to the prayer hall on the mezzanine floor with separate ablution facilities. This upper level prayer hall is reserved for women whenever required. The south east side of the mezzanine floor is for the use of the imam of the mosque and visitors.
The Design of the structure addresses the harsh climate of Malegaon which is hot-dry summers and cold dry winters. The main envelop of the structure is wrapped in double skin masonry cavity walls and hollow clay block insulation for the roof. Controlled openings and use of indirect light from the façade as well as the roof provide human comfort level desired in such climate.
The Design of Masjid is an attempt in creating one more vocabulary in the development of “Mosque Design” simple in form but vibrant in character, reflecting the ethos of 21st century. It makes a definitive architectural statement in a different direction, pointing to the contemporary, to a desire to live in spaces that reflect the universal values of the present day.