christina sgambelluri

christina sgambelluri

Waterbury, CT, US


Montreal Mosque + Community Center

Located in a diverse cultural neighborhood of residential, institutional, and commercial buildings, a community center and Islamic mosque creates a dynamic neighborhood center for local muslims who currently lack a facility. The design of the building is ultimately a modern and symbolic interpretation of a traditional mosque. The faith of Islam revolves around The Pillars of Islam which are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory for all believers.  They are (1) the shahadah, 5 daily prayers, almsgiving, fasting during Ramadan and, the pilgrimage to Mecca.  During the pilgrimage to Mecca followers are required to revolve around the Kaaba seven times and in a means of reflection.The conceptual parti of the community center is inspired by the revolution around the Kaaba and the geometric definition of the existing site. The community center as a whole evolved as a series of revolving spaces with the prayer hall at its center. The prayer hall emanates within the circular community center, oriented towards Mecca contrastint the existing neighborhood grid and the circular geometry of the community center  creating hierarchy  Symbolically, the geometry expresses the delineation of sacred space vs. public community spaces, and the nature of Islamic communities which revolve around religion.There are three primary user groups within this facility, those who are coming to use the community library, cafe, and gallery spaces, and the men and women coming to prayer.The main entry for the mosque as well as, the community center entry are on Rue Sherbrook; the dominate street, and the privatized womens entry occurs on the side street.

Traditionally, women enter the prayer hall from a separate location and ultimately pray in a segregated location within the mosque. Women can use a private entrance, while more contemporary followers can utilize the primary mosque entry shared by the men. Once inside, the men and women separate, participate in ritualized washing and enter the prayer hall, in which a mezzanine has been created for the women. The prayer hall is a glass with an Islamic patterned screen sculpted out of patina copper which is relevant to the neighborhood contextually.  The remaining massing of the building is faced in travertine panels and a rich mahogany wood cladding.

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Status: School Project
Location: montreal canada