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Not long ago I put up a post called Fashion Street, in which I applauded the attempt to create an building which featured elements from both typical Islamic and British vernaculars. Above is a partial elevation of my current proposal for the Shahjalal Mosque in Shandy Park. It attempts to create a hybrid of the two vernaculars taking from Public House, Industrial, Traditional Islamic and British Domestic styles. You can see the change in hierarchy in fenestration much like a London Terrace, the Brick Pattern inspired by Alvar Aalto’s Baker House and the Etched Glass, which covets the play on public/privacy with ornate patterns of a Pub’s window. All in an attempt to create a building that would feel at home in Britain or an Islamic nation.

Above is an image of Alvar Aalto’s Baker House, Cambridge, Mass (1946-49) taken from Brick: A World History by James W.P. Campbell. Aalto’s use of brick as an elevational treatment for the Baker House is of particular interest because of his use of twisted and distorted overburnt bricks. They are used at intervals to add interest to the surface, but laid to protrude from the wall they would make an interesting contrast to regular bricks if applied to a Brick Pattern.

A notable cast from the series which culminated in the Final Concrete Cast. This cube uses the skeleton frame as originally proposed, but when struck revealed a quite beautiful concrete finish with inserted clear acrylic pattern. The skeleton was retained rather than removed and the whole cube was worked to give the concrete a more rough texture to contrast with the smooth acrylic, which was also worked to give a frosted finish.

The culmination of a series of concrete casts as discussed in Concrete Cube, Concrete Construction and Concrete Shuttering is shown above. A negative version of previously proposed versions, the contrast between where the aggregate has been exposed and the smooth finish from the shuttering is remarkable. The wallpaper pattern taken from The Grapes public house has been used to protect part of the cube whilst the exposed concrete has been worked back to reveal, in this case, recycled green glass aggregate.

Above shows the second version of the proposed Shahjalal Mosque in Shandy Park. Already shown in Mosque V2 Modeling, it uses pattern work previously discussed in Brick Pattern, Paving Pattern and Etching Pattern, whilst combing styles of traditional Islamic and English domestic and industrial styles as shown in Power Pub and Collision Course. It does not however work programatically and lets itself down by not revealing it’s inspiration in elevational detailing.

A work in progress.

The geometric patterns from Etching Pattern has been applied to glass to create a sample at 1:1. Here it has been photographed next to brickwork to show the contrast between the two proposed materials and how they sit in harmony.

Here on a square grid-basis, a spinning four-fold pattern has been developed with stabilizing star octagons.  Another example of Islamic Patterns, it adheres to a geometric rule of repetition and has been progressed further to create two zones; translucent and opaque.

As with Mosque V1 Modeling, this most recent 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. It shows how the building deals with the two axis of fabric and mecca, as discussed in Site Axis. It also is located at the South Eastern edge of the park and addresses the street much like a Public House would with little or no boundary between the entrance threshold and the pavement.

The use of etched glass in public house fenestration is the perfect marriage of function and decoration. Used as a screen for privacy whilst also allowing light into a space, they are highly detailed ornamentation pieces. Much like wallpaper, the use of decorative patterns adds a sense of domesticity to a space, blurring the line between what is private and what is public.

With one of the aims of the the proposed mosque to combine the Minaret with its ventilation system based on precedents like the Contact Theatre, employing a strategy that is appropriate is crucial. Above is a sketch of simple stack effect ventilation taken from Environmental Design by Randall Thomas. I have been fortunate enough to have discussed such methods with Randall. They are both interesting and can improve the energy efficiency of a building dramatically if considered from an early stage of design. It is essential that all architects understand at least the basic principles upon which methods such as this are based.