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A Neighbourhood Mosque

Part 1 Project 1998
Andrew Puncher
Atif Shaikh
Dawood College of Engineering and Technology Karachi Pakistan
A Neighbourhood Mosque

The Mosque design exercise undertaken is an approach towards the revival of those elements that are inherent in the traditional mosque. Transformation in the design of the mosque has been evident from their continuously changing forms over the last several years. The form of the contemporary mosque is an emblem of diverse elements, as a result of changing traditions and requirements. The disappearance of traditional forms and trends has wrenched the mosque architecture of its spirit and richness.

My approach has been to revivify the use and functions of the elements such as the minarets, the domes, the mehrabs and the niches, by incoporating them in the design for not only asthetic purposes but actually with regards to their functions. The oreintation of the layout and the forms have been evolved on the basis of axis which has been the key element of traditonal Mughal Architecture. The Holy Kaaba has been the source of inspiration for a just intervention in this regard. The spatial organisation of the prayer hall, the courtyards and the ablution places has been done in conformity with the traditions and architectural practices. The forms that have been used are simple and demonstrate a visual clarity. As far as details are concerned, traditional elements have been incorporated with a modern perspective. Transition of spaces and proportions and treatment of facades has been done with due consideration for the revival of the conventional Mosque architecture.

Beach Hut Studio

The project 'BEACH HUT STUDIO' is a weekend cabin of a student on an island. My purpose is to understand the nature, materials, context etc. and to utilise 'tangible elements' such as location, nature, terrain of land etc. and 'intangible elements' such as moods of nature (light, wind, sea, sky, clouds, solids and voids), and change in their character.

God has first created the nature for human and then the human, to utilise it. It is human psychology that one gets inspired by the nature and its blessings. He always loves to live in natural surroundings. Hence I created a building which is very close to nature. It is an organic architecture having a friendly impact on the human mind in the form of a student hut come studio. The place to live, work and enjoy.

Most of this design is based on solid and flexible geometry. There are many elements which may psychologically disturb the human mind individually, but when composed properly and placed in a certain form and manner, can be geometrical and in an organic pattern, close to nature and the surrounding environment, they lose their negative impact on human psychology as a whole.

The design when viewed from a distant point does not look like a tension developing element, heaviness is well controlled and minimised, in fact eliminated by the curves. The curvature and the smoothness of the surfaces softens the effect of the whole structure to a great extent. But from a nearby spot, it may have a heavy effect due to the height of the walls. The curves and smooth surfaces are created to increase its softness.
Andrew Puncher
Atif Shaikh


Mosqueis an religious building, which have a great impact on the Muslims. Its important to be very careful about its design concept and even its spaces.

For students of architecture an understanding of these constituent forms and their relevance with social aspiration is extremely important.


The objective of the project was to familiarise students with various planning and design issues which come into play while designing a neighbourhood mosque. The site is in Defence Housing Society, which is a high income group neighbourhood it is a small plot which made the task more challenging.


The student in this particular case has very successfully incorporated the esscure of mosque design parameters ie. simplicity in plan treatment of constituent form. Traditonal elements have been retained but an innovative contemporary architectural language. Ornamentation on a facade also have a refreshing characer.

• Page Hits: 2316         • Entry Date: 08 January 1998         • Last Update: 10 May 2001