Europe’s first eco-mosque rises in Cambridge’s skyline

London-based practice Marks Barfield Architects has designed the GBP13 million ($19.5 million approx) ‘eco- mosque’ on a 0.4 hectare brownfield site in Cambridge, UK, which is hailed as the first of its kind in Europe.

Marks Barfield Architects have designed the ‘gentle landmark’ taking cue from the traditions of Islamic civilization and innovation. The new eco-friendly mosque is also touted as the first purpose-built mosque in the city.

The three-story mosque will replace a smaller mosque nearby on the site of a derelict warehouse. Marks Barfield has proposed a Mecca-aligned grid of timber-clad columns inside, which will be extended to the exteriors by 20 cypress trees.

In order to ensure zero carbon footprint for Europe’s first truly ecologically responsible mosque, latest heat pumps and conservation technology will be made use of and green roofs will be featured. The eco-sustainable principles are also in compliance with the holy book of Muslims – the Quran.

The mosque will be integrated with striking skylights and the structure will be naturally illuminated throughout the year. The well-insulated building will help in optimizing temperature, along with the use of energy-efficient technologies for heating and cooling. Locally generated energy from ground source heat pumps will also be used.

The existing community garden will be enhanced with a new permeable green edge around the structure created by planting trees. Bicycle racks at street level and car parking in the basement will also be featured. The building is designed to house up to 1,000 men and women. The facility will also feature a cafe, a teaching area and meeting rooms for use by the local Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

The practice beat 12 competitors in an international competition run by the Muslim Academic Trust, to build the mosque on the Mill Road area in Cambridge.

View the project here.