With focus on the activities of a Muslim community as well as the location, history and climate of Iceland GREEN MOSQUE is a proposal with one foot in traditional mosque typology and one in Icelandic tradition – creating the first mosque on Iceland as a public landmark where community, worship and openness is essential.
With inspiration from Icelandic Turf houses and traditional mosque shapes GREEN MOSQUE gives a new take on what a modern mosque can be. The program follows the traditional sequences of a mosque in an flexible and efficient way. A circular design and program concept is based on flexible spaces, without corridors, that can be transformed into single or combined units depending on what type of community or religious activities that take place.
In one hand the given site is challenging in terms of its location close to the highway and exposure for harsh winds from south and south east, in the other hand it is also strategic in it placement next to the main entrance road to Reykjavik and calls for a mosque as a landmark for Iceland, for Reykjavik and for the muslim community. Noise and wind exposure from south are reduced by introducing varied topography of landscape and building volume. In coherence with the local plan the building is opening up towards north and Suðurlandsbraut in relation to which the access, main entrance and parking is located.
The cupolas and integration of the landscape can also be read within the indoor space. The program is divided on a circular plan where the three main cores are the worship, the audio hall and the lobby (last two used as community space), and with supporting functions relating to each core. The circular units allow for a adaptable usage of the space and create efficient space without corridors. The flexible indoor space makes it possible to fit all functions, including technical room, storage and parking, on the ground level.
A generous lobby enables meetings, chatting as well as more private sections to sit and read the Quran. The lobby is a part of the community space together with library, classroom and audio hall, which all have direct or indirect access to each other through the lobby. Sliding doors make it possible for using the worship and audio hall as one unit, a possibility which also is considered for the relation lobby – library, library – classroom. The flexible indoor space makes it possible to fit all functions, including technical room, storage and parking, on the ground level.
Material and Sustainability
A turf roof with structural concrete cupolas is proposed for the mosque. Turf buildings, commonly found in the historical building culture of Iceland, have superior insulation qualities in the harsh climate. The soil is a great insulator for both sound and heat, keeping the building warm in winter and cold in summer. The turf roof also reduces the amount of runoff water and increase the biodiversity in the area.
Heating and electricity comes from geothermal energy source and is used for both heating the floors and the fresh intake air. Natural ventilation can be used efficiently thanks to the cupola shapes of the interior space where the used warm air is let out through openings in the top.