WHAT’S BEING SAID ABOUT THE MOSQUE

THE GUARDIAN

“Barfield explains the design as a reference to the Qur’anic idea of paradise as a quadripartite garden. It owes something to the gothic vaults, this being an exalted form of British religious architecture that possibly has an Arab influence, and it owes something else to the internal stone forest of the great mosque of Córdoba. The overall effect is an abstract Arabesque, a way of building inspired by the spirit rather than the literal details of traditional Islamic architecture.”

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BUILDING

“What constitutes a British mosque in the 21st century? Should it reflect the domes and minarets of Arabian mosques or mimic the muddy, fortified solidity of North African ones? Or more radically, should it tap into British Christian ecclesiastical traditions and reinterpret the gothic and perpendicular styles synonymous with the great English cathedrals? Or should it do something completely different and create a customised architectural hybrid that represents something entirely new?”

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ARAB NEWS

“Cambridge is a center of excellence in so many ways and attracts people from all over the world, people of all faiths and none. The Muslim community makes a significant contribution to both the universities and to the city and so the new mosque will be of tremendous importance as a place of meeting and interfaith dialogue.”

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THE RIBA JOURNAL

“A new mosque for Cambridge has been a decades long vision of Muslims in the city, the extant mosques being converted premises which were inadequate for the growing local, student and international Muslim population. Spearheaded by Dr Tim Winter, a Cambridge academic and Islamic scholar, a group of the city’s Muslims came together to realise this vision.”

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VARSITY

“The overall design was developed from the concept of a calm ‘oasis’. The existing community garden will be enlarged with 20 new cypress trees that contribute to a “permeable green edge”. The mosque will be naturally lit throughout the year using large skylights. Natural sustainably sourced and high thermal performance materials are used in its construction to pertain to its eco-friendly ethos.”

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE LIVE

Costing around £23 million, the mosque includes features that will minimise carbon emissions – which the Cambridge Mosque Trust hoped to emphasise the role of faith in promoting responsible management of the earths resources. As well as other eco-friendly strategies and being well insulated, the mosque is heated and cooled using locally generated energy. Rainwater will be harvested and used to flush the toilets and irrigate the grounds.

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CIBSE JOURNAL

“The Cambridge Central Mosque has been badged by the media as Europe’s first ‘eco-mosque’ and ‘the greenest mosque in Europe’. It’s easy to see why: the building is designed to be naturally lit during the day and naturally ventilated throughout the year, while its visually impressive timber columns helped minimise embodied energy in the building’s structure.”

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE LIVE

Its big, its stunning and its doors are open – to everyone. Opened in April this year after a decade in development, the Cambridge Central Mosque on Mill Road has a clear mission: to develop the idea of a British mosque for the 21st century. Anyone from the local area is welcome, including women, who have in some cases been traditionally excluded from the Muslim place of worship.

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(Header image courtesy of Morley von Sternberg)