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Mosque in Reykjavík Project: 2015
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Photographs: PK arkitektar
Completion Year: unrealized
Floor Area: 795 m²
Typology: -

Pálmar Kristmundsson, Fernando de Mendonca, Ólafur Jónssson and Walter Hjaltested

Competition entry

Mosque in ReykjavíkProject: 2015

Pálmar Kristmundsson, Fernando de Mendonca, Ólafur Jónssson and Walter Hjaltested

Competition entry

Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Photographs: PK arkitektar
Completion Year: unrealized
Floor Area: 795 m²
Typology: -

The mosque is located in a suburban neighborhood on the outskirts of Reykjavík, surrounded by a busy highway and a quiet neighborhood. 

The sculptural building form derives from the main orientation towards the holy city of Mecca, as a series of parallel vaults rise to varying heights. These arched roofs and warped walls create a vibrant silhouette from the exterior to the interior. Together they generate a dynamic ceiling-scape. The building form is a Nordic interpretation of Islamic architecture using contemporary forms and modern materials. The roofscape is an abstraction of the pilgrimage tents of Mina and the snowy mountains of Iceland.

The first mosque in Reykjavík will not only serve the Muslim community, but will educate the public about Islamic values and serve as a beacon for religious tolerance, fostering peaceful coexistence. The openness of the facade at street level is a welcoming gesture to this community, spawning a dialogue between individuals inside the mosque and the city outside.

All functions are resolved on one level, avoiding the use of stairs and lifts. The entrance is located in the north west corner of the building. From there you enter an open space which consists of a cloakroom, shoe storage and reception. A circular core containing toilets and ablution area divides the reception from other functions and creates a flow between the different functions, all with direct access to the reception. The worship area is separated from reception and assembly hall by sliding walls which can be fully open into the reception. By opening up the worship area to the reception the spaces flow easily into each other.

The minaret is located adjacent to the entrance and is thought of as a sculptural element reinforcing the mosque as a symbol of an ascending spirit from the ground to the sky.

The plot is a continuation of the public area and so the surrounding landscape flows into it.All parking is solved inside the plot on the ground level.The technical room is located in the basement and accessed by an exterior stair.

The interior is filled with a homogenous light, penetrating into the space through the facade, a metal grill/screen element, which is a representation of an archetypal element of Arabic architecture – the Mashrabiya. This traditional lattice work has been used for centuries in the Middle East to protect the occupants from the sun and provide privacy.The windows are positioned between these screens. 

 

 
 

The external walls and roof are of a wood construction, insulated and clad in aluminium flat sheets wrapped by metal grill elements. The curves in the walls and roof are achieved by warping the elements, creating movement on the exterior and interior of the building.

The material palette is strict and it features only the metal grill on the outside. Inside the same grills are in all ceilings and are accompanied by wood on some walls and all doors. Flooring is parquet in all areas, except in the prayer hall where there is carpet. The interior was stripped from any superficial decoration focusing solely on the essence of religious spaces, a dramatic and awe-inspiring place to pray and be alone with God.