ONG&ONG pushes the design envelope with this musolla in Malaysia, bagging “The Islamic Architecture Award” at this year’s Cityscape Awards.
5 October, 2011
ONG&ONG’s Malaysia office has received “The Islamic Architecture Award” for its Eco Park Musolla, Setia Alam project at the recently concluded Cityscape Awards for Architecture in Emerging Markets in Dubai.
Renderings of what the musolla will look like when completed in 2012
A musolla is a place where Muslims gather for prayers, and is smaller compared to a mosque.
“The physical form of the Eco Park Musolla is inspired by the Arabic calligraphy of the letter ’mim’ which is the first Arabic alphabet for the Musolla,” says Tan Kee Keat, who heads the ONG&ONG Malaysia office.
The musolla is positioned on an uninterrupted lawn, appearing more like a sculpture or pavilion in the landscape than a building proper.
The main prayer hall cantilevers above a body of water and one ritually ascends the long ramp to it from the garden, embarking on a ’path’ towards enlightenment.
A screen that envelopes the main prayer hall combines 3 Arabic patterns that bring an interesting play of light into the space.
“The idea is that the musolla should not function solely as a place for prayer but also as a community space that allows for gatherings and events, sort of a community centre, which is what a true mosque should be – a social place that connects people, enabling them to share and exchange knowledge,” says Tan.
“There is also an attempt to break away from the typical notion (in Malaysia) of how a mosque should look like – usually associated with dome-like structures. When seen solely as sacred places, mosques/musollas will naturally take a more symbolic form.
The main prayer hall is designed to accommodate 75 people while the activity area below, which spills into the main lawn, can also be used as an additional space for prayer if required. Various other facilities that respond to the lifestyle of the local community, that encourage social gatherings, and that are required for the musolla have also been incorporated.
The project is expected to be completed in December 2012.
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