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Islamic Cultural Center

Gezim & Arber Architects

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Arberweaetxdyvaydzcwq, Butrinti Architecture, Appenzell

Project Name

Islamic Cultural Center




Project Status

Concept Proposal

Year Completed



10,656 sq. meters

Construction Cost



Albanian Islamic Community

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Project Description

Having in to consideration that this Islamic Center has to be build in one multi-religious and multi-ethnic environment, such as Preshevo town is, the initial design concept was to create one environment which is not dedicated just for strict Islamic religious activities, but as a public friendly space where can spend couple of time every citizen regardless to their religious or ethnic affiliation. It is expressed by creating inner courtyard, urban furnitures, vegetation and open water pool. Also the internal composition of buildings, such as libraries, multimedia room, etc.., can be used for various activities for the benefit of all citizens.
The overall urban character of the building is reflected also in its architectural language which is generally expressed by clear pure geometric forms following only by few elements of ornamental Islamic architecture.
The mosque also has been designed to be very open and friendly to the community. Walls in the main facade facing the entrance of the building where in the wall on the left side of the main entrance are written verses which are taken from the holy „Qura’n“, in the Arabic, and in the wall on the right side translated in to the Albanian language. This helps to overcome the barrier of the mystification of religion that was created by using for many years just Arabic language for religious activities which mostly of community don’t understand, giving an acceptable dimension of religion close to the Albanian Islamic community in this part of Europe.
In the main prayer hall of mosque is entered from the west, which determines the geographic hemisphere the location, so that believers facing east (location of Islamic holy place Mecca) during prayer, which is obligatory by the Islamic religion.
Natural light inside the building is coming from small square windows in the southern and northern wall which through low intensity of light creating a dramatic situation within the facility. At the east wall, there is no central traditional "Mihrab" (element which shows orientation of Mecca) engraved on the inside of the wall, but instead of this it is located a vertical window that develops over the entire length of the east wall, being the main source of natural light within the hall of prayer and also the link between the interior of the building and outside water pool, greenery and nature in general.
Orientation of prayers in the direction of Mecca through this vertical window in the east wall, metaphorically it is given the message that actually orientation toward God means orientation towards the light, water, the greenery and everything that God has created for us.
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