Architect In Charge: Rafiq Azam
Design Team: Ikramoon Nisa, Mohammad Akter Hossen, Mohiminul Islam
Client: Dhaka South City Corporation
Engineering: Mustafizur Rahman
Landscape: Rafiq Azam
Consultants: Shatotto Architecture for Green Living
Text description provided by the architects. This mosque on a land area of 16,500 sft belongs to Dhaka South City Corporation situated in Azimpur, Old Dhaka, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The location of the mosque is in Azimpur area which is on the fringe of historical Lalbagh area established by the Mughals 400 years back. So the inspiration of the new mosque came from Azam Shah Mosque built by the Mughals in the ‘Lalbagh Fort’.
The beauty of the Mughal mosque is its ‘Shaan’ means the extended open-to-sky terrace attached to the main hall on the east at the entrance. This terrace/Shaan serves the additional devotees (almost 500) particularly gatherings on Friday (Jummah holiday) or any other special occasions. Apart from the occasions the Shaan acts as a social space for the local community.
In this Mayor Mohammad Hanif Jummah Mosque, the idea of Shaan became very important, since the mosque is on the edge of Azimpur graveyard on the north and Azimpur road on the south, acting as a threshold connecting and dividing the terrestrial and celestial. Furthermore a steel and glass bridge has been installed connecting the upper levels of the mosque actually framing the graveyard from the Shaan, as appreciation of life.
As structural system, mushroom column has been used in the main prayer hall (total 14000 people can be accommodate in two floors) of the mosque. This gives beam free flat slab lightly held by the mushrooms. The window on the south looking road has been screened by the brick Jali to reduce the temporal connection. Whereas window on the north connecting graveyard clearly open for celestial indulgence.
The Mehrab or prayer space for the Imam (the priest) has been designed unconventionally and elaborately. The whole one strip of the mosque facing the west stark brick wall is dedicated for Imam’s prayer space with day light coming from the heaven. The flow is also made of frosted glass which reflect and refract the light within.