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The term Brick Expressionism is used to describe a technique used most predominantly in Germany during the 1920s, using brick as a decorative material as well as a structural one. Developed during the same time period as Bauhaus, where all ornamentation was removed, expressionist architecture showed what could be achieved using a very plain construction material. Above shows the Reemtsma Cigarette Factory by Fritz Höger where the rotation of rectangular bricks creates a beautiful spiral column. More examples can be found here, including the Fernmeldeamt which is a great example of industrial styled architecture with intricate facade details.

Sketch sections of Shahjalal Mosque. Section A-A shows how the main atrium will be flanked on either side by the two more domestic scaled parts of the building with openings looking out into it from both the ground and first floor levels. Section B-B shows the change in scale from atrium to prayer hall, expressing a sense of hierarchy, with the structure lining through at the same height for continuity between the two.

Having identified the South East corner of the site as a strong position to place the mosque; following the line of the existing built fabric to continue the architectural language along the street-addressing elevation and creating a strong edge condition, whilst also engaging the park with the angle of the Prayer Hall due to the direction of prayer towards Mecca, the basic massing used in Spacial Arrangement allowed one to design the landscaping of Shandy Park to respond to the mosque.

The series of sketches above show the progression from placing these masses on the existing layout of the park, reflecting on past landscaping of the park (which can be seen in Historical Maps), to creating a direct visual connection from external space to building, which impacts on the mosque’s engagement with the park (see Sketch Plan), in order to create a shared space suitable for worshipers and non-worshipers alike.

Using the image created in Power Pub as a catalyst in creating the “front” elevation, the elevation which addresses the street, above is a series of sketches showing how found elements are expressed in different ways. One of the major decisions is how the central part of the elevation, which will be the main entrance and houses the building’s major circulation and social space reads externally. Is it expressed as a stand alone element that projects in relief or upwards, or is it the elements used themselves that define the separation of internal spaces and the lines of the elevation are kept consistent all the way across?

An initial sketch plan of the Shahjalal Mosque (V2) showing how the foyer acts as a central linking area to the “Pub”, Ablution spaces and Prayer Hall as well as promoting access to Shandy Park by creating a tree lined avenue from this central space. What is also of note is the central “hearth” which has several roles within the mosque, acting as the Mihrab (see Islamic Terms), a Minaret, extraction for the natural ventilation strategy and providing an architectural link between English industrial, traditional Islamic and East End domestic styles.

As shown in Collision Course, there is an aesthetic and structural language that is born from the marriage of East End London domestic architecture and traditional Islamic architecture. Finding the similarities between these two styles, such as the use of locally sourced materials and arched openings is key to creating a mosque that feels comfortable in Shandy Park. There is also a potency of creating a juxtaposition of rough industrial exterior against pure interiors required for prayer and the elements that bridge these two as investigated in Prayer Hall Interior Model.

Above is a photomontage of The Wenlock Arms public house and Lots Road Power Station, both located in London, amalgamated into one block. The Wenlock Arms deals with edge conditions extremely well, whilst Lots Road Power Stations uses a very traditional London Industrial architectural style, that also shares similarities with Islamic styles of elegant arched openings. This image acts as an aesthetic and architectural statement of what the mosque could be.

Despite dealing with axis, Mosque V1 did not work in plan. Taking the spaces within the Shahjalal Mosque back to essentials – The Prayer Hall and what is described here as “Pub”, basic layouts were configured to create a positive relationship between the two.

The term “Pub”, despite its alcoholic connotations, is meant in as previous work has stated as Public House, a space that is privately owned but used publicly, that conveys a sense of domesticity which dictates a sense of decorum to be maintained by all patrons. I also like the traditional idea of the landlord living upstairs making a pub very much an extension of their living room, which I think has potential for direct translation to an Imam’s role within a mosque.

A comprehensive collection of London Pubs by Postcode by Ewan Munro on Flickr, found here.

As in Mosque Massing, this early proposal for the Shahjalal Mosque was physically modeled and photographed from the same perspectives as the six precedent mosques chosen for Mosque Massing in order to have a constant to compare differences. As discussed in Mosque V1, the building deals with the dictated route axis across the site and the building axis of the exiting fabric. It also starts to create an outdoor room towards the North-East of the site, but is rather awkward in dealing with the Southern edge.

This early proposal for the Shahjalal Mosque deals with all of the influencing axis identified in Site Axis, promoting the route from the new section of the Ocean Estate to the Canal by flanking it whilst creating an edge to the park along the building axis of the surrounding fabric. It does not however work well in plan as a public building, with several awkward angles creating uncomfortable spaces.