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Part 2 Project 2009
Ahmad Zuhaili Zainon
University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Mosque derived form the Arabic word ‘sa-ja-da’ which means prostration. The first mosque (Prophet Muhammad Mosque) is not only served as a congregational place for prayers but also for all religious and secular meetings of the society. The mosque is more integrated into everyday life of the Islamic community than the equivalent place of worship in other civilizations.

Nowadays, the function of a mosque is only limited for prayers and Islamic study and does not contribute to multi racial society of Malaysia. The mosque designs in Malaysia used revivalism in order to create the image of the mosque. This can be seen as uncreative culture, a dogmatic sense of rigidity, an arrogant sculpture and white elephant to be praised but never used efficiently.

The idea of the mosque in the centre of Kuala Lumpur is to demonstrate and to revive the original function of the mosque which is not only as a ritual place but also contribute to urban society development. This project also tries to discover the suitable architectural language for mosque in Malaysia that can suit within the framework of present socio-economic and regionalistic concern.

The mosque in the city is function to create a refuge place especially to the urban community. The main objective to design the space is to achieve healing qualities of environment. The space must provide tranquility, unobstructed, eternal, life-supportive, gentle, which are the essential qualities of living silence. In the scheme, the living silences are created by light, texture of materials and also spaces. The lattice and the green creepers on the rooftop function to filter the light, enhance the interplay between sunlight, daylight, and reflected light which create mood of a space.

There are necessary, optional and social activities in order to bring together the urban communities to the mosque. The scale of the building adopted from the proportion of tropical shophouses in order to have sense of belonging to the place. The courtyard functioned to provide natural daylight and also natural ventilation. The buildings also surrounded by lushes of greens which respond to the tropical climatic condition.

These elements will ensure that the building has sense of belonging to the city and well adapt with the urban society

Ahmad Zuhaili Zainon

Ahmad Zuhaili's Mosque was informed by the Prophet's mosque, pure and devoid of the subsequent religious conundrum. Stripped bare to its essence and minus pretensions, it is a sanctuary, a place of rest and refuge for those who wish to escape from the mundane in heart of Kuala Lumpur's hustle and bustle. The place was designed solely to focus on the spiritual cleansing of the mind. Roof openings allow slits of light shafts to illuminate the prayer spaces and provide focus for prayer to be performed. All thoughts of the world cease to exist as place, time and thought stands still in a unified design with nature, light and space.

The design thesis was controversial because it focused on a spiritual sanctuary only dedicated to the communion with the divine. Planned in a universal manner to embrace all, regardless of gender, race and creed, the open hall is divided by a void in the middle to accentuate the two areas for men and women in a minimalist way. Each column is bathed in light shafts creating pockets of prayer spaces so that each person can concentrate in their own space although the space is vast. There is no feeling of segregation, yet intimate and private. The design follow no rules and regulations and designed to its purest essential place of prayer for the initiated.


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