KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten
2008 – 2016
As part of the celebrations of Algeria’s National holiday on November 1st the foundation stone for the new “Mosquée d’Algérie” was laid at an official ceremony in Algiers. German firm KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten won a competition to design the Mosquée d’Algérie (The Mosque of Algeria) back in 2008. This formal act marks the beginning of the construction of the world’s third largest mosque after the Islamic pilgrimage sites in Mecca and Medina. With its prayer hall for up to 37,000 people and the approx. 265-meter high minaret, the Mosque will in future be one of the largest religious buildings in the Islamic world.
The complex offers space for up to 120,000 visitors daily and, in addition to the prayer hall and the minaret, boasts further facilities such as a cultural center, an Imam School, a library, apartments, a fire station, a museum, and a research center. Located a mere six kilometers east of the historical town center and not far from the airport, the new mosque complex, which has a gross surface area of approx. 400,000 square meters, is an important stimulus for the future development of adjacent districts. The new focal point combines religion, culture and research, while at the same time serving as a new center for the surrounding quarters.
The entire complex is being built on behalf of the Algerian government on the basis of plans drawn up by a consortium consisting of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten and the engineering firm Krebs und Kiefer International in Darmstadt, Germany. Construction of the complex commenced in late 2012, as soon as the requisite preparatory measures have been concluded. Commissioning is planned for 2016.
In the Bay of Algiers, east of the historical town center, the complex forms the main, initial element in a new urban development in Algiers. The center brings together various cultural and religious facilities as well as different educational institutions. A joint pedestal up to five meters high forms the base of the edifices that make up the Mosque complex, which are aligned from west to east on the raised plateau. The entrance arcades and the minaret, the prayer courtyard and prayer hall for up to 37,000 worshipers are located here, staggered on a longitudinal piece of land extending along an axis in the direction of Mecca.
The prayer hall, or Salle de Prière, is a massive cube with a footprint measuring approx. 145 meters by 145 meters, and 22.5 meters high. A 45-meter high cube, slightly set back from the edge, bars the central dome. At its apex the latter reaches a height of some 70 meters and at its base is some 50 meters in diameter. The prayer hall, with its regular rows of pillars up to 45 meters in height, has room for up to 37,000 people. All the traditional religious elements such as the Qibla wall, the Mihrab, Minbar and Dikkah are integrated in a hall of modern aesthetics. Following the s architecture of traditional Islamic places of worship, the mosque’s outer skin is made of natural stone. The mosque’s courtyard mediates between the religious prayer hall and the adjoining esplanade in the west, the open space featuring the main entrance and the adjoining forecourt.
Its use, design and size make the minaret unique in the history of Islam. Some 265 meters high, the minaret has the dimensions of a skyscraper, while being extremely slender with its 28×28 meters. The lower floors open out invitingly to the plaza. Panorama elevators take visitors to the upper, public floors, which house the Museum of Algerian History. Above this there are two research areas known as the Research Center, which are accessible to accredited scholars only,. Semi-transparent ornamental elements (known as “Moucharabieh façade elements”) surround the tower like a second skin, while at the same time serving as protection from the sun. The top of the tower is open to the public. Here there is a viewing platform for visitors and honorary guests. At night the illuminated glass skin of the top of the minaret radiates, visible from afar, as a point of orientation in Algiers and its new landmark.
The mosque complex is linked to the buildings in the south, namely the cultural centre, the library and the Imam School, by a spacious park. This landscaped outdoor area can house a large number of people and also offers a haven of tranquility. Palm groves right round the mosque provide ample shade. Furthermore, fountains foster the overall sense of calm and concentration.
Developer: ANARGEMA Agence Nationale de Ré-alisation de Gestion de la Mosquée d’Algérie
GSA (total surface): 397.000 m²
Gross volume (converted space): 1,750,00 m³
Height of the minaret: 265 m
Competition: 01/2008, 1st prize
Laying of the foundation stone: Nov. 01, 2011
Start of construction work: Early 2012