We entered a proposal for a competition to design the first mosque in Iceland. The Iceland Mosque would actually have been the first new mosque in all of Northern Europe. Given this fact and current events surrounding Muslims in Europe, we were aware that this scheme would feel a scrutiny and generate a dialogue unusual to similarly sized buildings.
In order to create a more informed scheme, we invited Shahed Saleem to join our team. As an expert on mosque design and the forces which shape them, Shahed’s insight and experience were incredibly valuable.
Our final design drew balanced a traditional Icelandic form with that of an Islamic one. The majority of the mosque is turfed over; this not only resembled a colloquial architecture, but also responds to the cold climate. The exception to this gesture is the prayer hall, which protrudes from the ground. The symbolic dome is sat within a square of concrete fins which which emphasise the vertical and also add mystique to the non-local geometry.