JUMAA MOSQUE Introduction The new Jumaa Mosque is located within the Msheireb Heritage Quarter. The area has always been the anchor of religious and political power for the local population. The design fuses Modernism with a historical arrangement of volumes and spaces, using specifically Qatari materials and architectural details.
Design Approach The form of the building is based on traditional Qatari mosques, which have for centuries used orientation, shading, natural ventilation and water to create environments for prayer. The design reflects the key principles of Islamic art and architecture - simplicity, functionality, spirituality, light, pattern, geometry and water. The plan form, based on a double square, follows classical Islamic precedent, as does the use of geometric patterns and designs, creating an elegant space with perfect proportions, with pierced roof screens creating patterns of dappled light and shade.
Materials and methods of construction The perfect cube building is constructed of crisp white stone. Metal Islamic patterned gates enclose the entrance pavilion and courtyard. Within the prayer hall a perforated, patterned roof allows dappled natural light to illuminate the prayer hall, providing a contemplative space for prayer. A colonnade of stone wraps the courtyard on both sides, framing a perfect courtyard square. A pond and rhyll create a sense of calm and contemplation before the entrance to the Prayer Hall.
Sustainable Design The Mosque has been constructed using an in situ concrete frame with blockwork infill. Regional limestone is used as cladding and Qatari stone used as accent banding to the courtyard floor. Screens are cast bronze to create richness and depth. The Mosque has been designed to ‘LEED’ gold standard and utilises passive and active sustainable techniques including photovoltaics and solar hot water heaters. The prayer hall is designed so that no artificial lighting is needed during daylight hours.
The form and configuration of the building is based on that of traditional Qatari mosques, which have for centuries used orientation, shading, natural ventilation and water to create comfortable environments for prayer. The stone minaret is circular in section and tapers towards the top, requiring each course of stones to be cut differently to achieve the overall form due to its reducing radius.
HERITAGE HOUSE QUARTER John McAslan and Partners has transformed a group of historic Heritage Houses within Msheireb Properties’ flagship redevelopment of the historical downtown area of Doha. Located at the historic centre of Doha, this Heritage Quarter was the traditional anchor of cultural, religious and political power serving the local population. The four historic houses - Company House, Bayt Jelmood, Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House - have been remodelled and extended to accommodate state-of-the-art museum environments showcasing key elements of Qatari history and culture.
The creation of museums within existing buildings is always challenging, requiring a forensic understanding of original building fabrics, and the way these buildings relate to their environment. While respecting the heritage value of these structures, the practice has sensitively transformed them to accommodate the latest museum display technologies. In the age of Google and iPad, the Heritage Museums bring history vividly to life, using interactive exhibition displays to communicate the experience, artefacts and meanings of the past to a 21st century audience. Imaginatively preserving Doha’s rich heritage, the Heritage House Museums communicate a distinct chapter of Qatari history and culture.
Key interventions to the existing domestic structures allow them to operate as modern museums in terms of circulation and environmental conditioning. These involved enclosing a number of previously external courtyards, providing legible circulation routes and additional accommodation.
The architectural responses are specific to each housebuilding and yet share a “DNA” that presents the four museums as a cohesive, overarching visitor experience. Interventions, whilst sensitively designed and harmonious with the existing structures, offer a clear distinction between historic original fabric and new build. This creates a clarity and legibility to the architectural response and to the practice’s approach to new and old as part of the museum experience.