Mosque in Tirana, Albania by BIG
The capital Tirana is undergoing an urban transformation including the complete re-conceptualization of Scanderbeg Square. To revitalize this important site a new cultural complex including a Mosque, an Islamic Centre, and a Museum of Religious Harmony is proposed. It will not only serve the Muslim community of the city and surrounding areas, but will educate the public about Islamic values and serve as a beacon for religious tolerance.
The buildings’ forms emerge from two intersecting axes and formal requirements: the city grid of Tirana which calls for the proper framing of the square and a coherent urban identity, and orientation of the Mosque’s main wall towards Mecca. Our proposal incorporates Tirana’s grid by maintaining the street wall and eaves line, yet rotates the ground floor so both the Mosque and the plaza face the holy city of Islam. This transformation also opens up a series of plazas—two minor ones on the sides of the Mosque and a major plaza with a minaret in front—which are semi-covered and serve as an urban extension of the place of worship. By turning the mosque inside out and bringing the program and qualities of the Mosque to a public arena, the religion becomes inclusive and inviting, and the cool shaded urban space can be shared by all.
Surrounding the site are The Quran Gardens which symbolically feature the rich vegetation described in the Quran with each plant’s quantity equivalent to the number of times they appear in the holy cripture.
Project: The Mosque And Museum Of Religious Harmony
Type: Prequalified Competition
Client: Municipality Of Tirana, Albanian Muslim
Collaborators: Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold, Glessner Group, Speirs & Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, And Global Cultural Asset Management
Size: 27 000m²
Location: Tirana, Alb
Awards: 2012 Faith & Form Awards Unbuilt Work Award
Partners in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Leon Rost
Team: Alessandro Ronfini, Daniel Kidd, Erick Kristanto, Ho Kyung Lee, Julian Liang, Marcella Martinez, Se Yoon Park