'Green Mosque' design takes pole position in international design competiton <i>The Building: Problem or Solution</i>
Team 42 - consisting of designers Onat Oktem, Ziya Imren, Zeynep Oktema and Uri Tzarnotzky - have been named winners of the ‘Best Freestanding Religious Structure' category of the international competition The Building: Problem or Solution after incorporating traditional architectural elements into a modern urban context with their concept ‘Green Mosque'.
The project team decided to design not only a mosque but a religious complex for various social activities and mutual aid. The main mosque building, a library, education and lecture halls, accompanied by a ‘soup kitchen', aims to strengthen the idea of getting together and socialising as a community. Similarly the structure of the dome represents the gathering function of the mosque with its structural units coming together to compose the dome shape.
The complex not only acts as a continuous interaction space but also respects its users' privacy. The ablution space and the prayer area are separated from the rest of the complex by different levels of entrance. The double-hull system in the mosque creates a thermal buffer zone between the main mass and outside. This system also helps to keep the calm environment in the prayer area, facilitating internal heating in winter and also protecting the interior zone from rain, snow and wind. In summer the thermal buffer zone creates a cooler zone for the main mass.
Solar thermal cells disposed on the units composing the dome of the mosque serve as an additional medium for water heating. Green roofs of the library, soup kitchen and lecture rooms contribute to the insulation of the building and to the improved air quality, helping to lower urban air temperatures and combat the heat island effect.
The rain water and waste water from ablution is collected so that the purified water can be re-used for watering the vegetable garden with a high-efficiency drip irrigation system. For the vegetable garden which aims to support the community, corn, onions and potatoes were selected since they are easy to cultivate in the climate of the US Midwest and require less water to grow.