London Central Mosque (Competition Entry)
London, United Kingdom
In 1969, Rifat Chadirji entered a competition to design a new mosque and Islamic cultural center for the city of London along with several other international architects. Although Chadirji's design did not win, it remains an important part of his architectural oeuvre, as it is an example of an attempt to design a building type characterized at the time by a rigid adherence to tradition.

Unlike his design for the Siraj al-Din Mosque in Baghdad, characterized by its simple but bold plan, the London mosque bears more resemblance to traditional models, with its large central dome and minaret. The design is notable for these features, as well as the architectural details, such as windows and furnishings embellished with modernist geometric designs. 

The plan is based on a series of octagonal units that connect to one another through irregularly shaped courtyards and halls. Visitors enter through a portal on the west side of the complex, which leads onto an enclosed open air courtyard. This in turn leads onto an inner, irregularly shaped open court. The inner court gives access to the various components of the complex. On its west side, double doors lead onto an octagonal unit houses a foyer and bookshop. On the east end is an octagonal unit housing an apartment for the director of the cultural center. On the south side of the court are entrances to the main building. The main building includes an irregular foyer with an octagonal ablutions unit on the west side, an octagonal unit that serves as coat storage on the east, and the entrance to the prayer hall on the south.  A separate entrance to the mosque for women leads from the octagonal foyer and bookshop on the west side of the complex, past the ablutions unit and into the west wall of the prayer hall.

The prayer hall is the largest octagonal unit. Four of the side walls are longer than the other four, which contain the main door, the mihrab (directly opposite the door), and two sets of floor to ceiling windows. 

On the north end of the complex, separate from the agglomeration described above, are two further octagonal units housing apartments for the caretaker and imam.

Sources

Al-Sulṭānī, Khālid. Rif‘at al-Jādirjī: mi‘mār, 114-119. Amman: Adib Books, 2016.
Location
London, United Kingdom
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Associated Names
Associated Collections
Events
1969
Variant Names
London Central Mosque (Competition Entry)
مسجد لندن
Original
Masjid Lundun
Transliterated
London Mosque
Translated
Mosque of London
Translated
Building Usages
mosque
religious
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