Leicester Modern Islamic Mosque Interior Design
Location: Leicester, UK
Scope of services: Interior Design
Date: December 2017
Client: Masjid Mu’adh Ibn Jabal, Goodwood Islamic Centre, in Leicester serving the local Muslim community in the Evington & Goodwood areas.
As the hallmark of Islamic architecture, mosques play a very important role in reflecting the magnificence of God in the Islamic religion, and therefore special attention should be put in the smallest design details. The most beautiful mosques in the world have been able to achieve a very successful design to show the majesty of the Lord, mainly by using high-quality artistic work and focusing on aesthetic values. At the same time, the need to worship in a calm and beautiful environment is one of the basic needs of mankind. For this reason, the beautification of the interior of the mosque is known as an important part of the mosque’s design. The beautiful, mystical interior design can create a strong link between the person and the mosque so that he or she would feel to urge to spend more time in such a place.
The Masjid Mu’adh Ibn Jabal Mosque is an interesting example of a modern mosque in the city of Leicester. The construction of the 1,500 sq meter mosque started in 2016 by the Goodwood Community and Education Trust.
The Leicester modern Islamic mosque interior design combines modernity with Islamic style in its interior design and decoration.
Mosques, being a place of worship for Muslims worldwide, typically incorporate traditional interior designs and a strict structure. But with the world turning to contemporary design, where does that leave classical mosque designs?
Globally, countless architects and designers showed us that sticking to the typical guidelines to designing mosques is not the only way of presenting this place of worship- mosques are also forms of architecture that can be interpreted through modern design.
The prayer hall of the Leicester modern Islamic mosque interior design is considered the main area of the mosque and is used for congressional prayer. The upper floors include classes and administrative areas.
The entrance hall ceiling, and in particular the dome decorated with geometric shapes, has been designed in such a way that during the day, a combination of light and shadow playing on the walls and ceiling create a reflection of the sky inside the mosque. Arches and Islamic geometric shapes have been used in an innovative way in the Leicester modern Islamic mosque interior design.
Masjid Mu’adh Ibn Jabal, Goodwood Islamic Centre, in Leicester serving the local Muslim community in the Evington & Goodwood areas.
To enter the mosque, worshipers would have go through an open area into a semi-open area, which is connected to the open area with a glass dome. The ring around the dome is adorned with Islamic calligraphy which seems to be at one with the blue sky evident through the glass dome. The sky is also reflected in the small pond of water located in the middle of the prayer hall. Narrow platforms for worshippers to sit on have been placed around the pond, while open shelves for shoes cover the entrance area in the Leicester modern Islamic mosque interior design.
The two full-length entrance doors adorned with golden decorations, direct the worshipers to the main hall. There is no natural light in this area; this semi-light, semi-dark atmosphere has been created to clear the worshippers’ mind of the bustle of the outside world and prepare him or her for oneness with God. Small ceiling lights provide the only light in the room. The small bulbs have been placed in the ceiling amongst the geometry to mimic a sky full of stars. Geometric designs have also been laid out on the hall walls. Golden coat hooks and small closets have also been considered in the hall for the worshippers personal belongings. Indirect lights embedded in the ceiling and walls enhance the beauty and mystique of the geometric designs in the Leicester modern Islamic mosque interior design.
The prayer hall is the most important part of a mosque. Typically all prayer halls have a high ceiling out of the view of the worshippers in order for them to direct their attention to the Qiblah (the direction of Mecca). But in this mosque, because some of the utility work had to be hidden under the ceiling, we did not naturally have the option of a high ceiling. Our designers discussed various ways to overcome this challenge and in the end, we went with using mirrors with delicate geometric motifs in the shape of semicircle on either sides of the hall, which gives the feeling of a higher ceiling.
A handmade chandelier can be seen showing off in the middle of the hall directing attention to the direction of prayers and the altar. The other parts of the ceiling are decorated with simple geometric designs and small lamps circling the chandelier, much like our solar system. Quranic verses written in gold Arabic calligraphy can be seen in the inner circle of this solar system.
The main wall of the Qibla is made up of a patterned wall engraved with geometric patterns. Special lighting has been considered for the names of God and the Prophet glistening in golden frames on the wall in the Leicester modern Islamic mosque interior design.
The most light has been allocated to the Mihrab which is situated in the center. To its left and right are the areas from where the Imam gives his lectures.
Small bookshelves have been placed on either side of the hall to hold Qurans and other holy books.
At the corner of this hall is a simple doorway, which guides us to the private library and visiting rooms. Arabic calligraphy showing off verses from the Quran can been seen at every turn.
The prayer hall on the ground floor has been allocated for men. The area for ablution and restrooms have been placed near the prayer hall for easy access.
The gentlemen’s ablution area, while very simple and contemporary, has been designed with colorful textured ceramics.
The upper floor has been allocated to the ladies prayer hall and ablution area. The classrooms have been designed to be used as the ladies prayers room when needed. Therefore, on the wall which is in the direction of the Qiblah, a simple altar has also been placed in addition to bookshelves, to direct worshippers for prayer.
In the Leicester modern Islamic mosque interior design, standard and traditional mosque elements have been elegantly combined with modern technology. Decorated walls with completely geometric engravings, metal and wood lathwork with golden contours on a blue background, and gold-plated calligraphy patched in with traditional Muslim symbols can be seen throughout the mosque.
An interesting point in designing this collection is the existence of an abstract concept and the use of modern geometry and architecture instead of completely mimicking Islamic architecture. The geometric design on the glass dome directs light into the mosque and creates beautiful shadows while the centralized lighting in the prayer hall reminds the worshippers of the solar system.
The simplicity of the form, material, and geometry of Leicester modern Islamic mosque interior design, combined with the use of the spatial patterns of historical mosques and traditional details such as lattice walls and Islamic calligraphy, all represent the overall approach to designing the mosque; that is, paying attention to Islamic traditions in building mosques and expressing it with a modern language.