All information and images courtesy of KSP Juergen Engel Architekten.
German Architecs KSP Juergen Engel designed the new Grande Mosque in Algiers.
Mosque of Algiers
In the Bay of Algiers, to the east of the historic downtown area, the complex represents the main and also the initial element in the new urban development of the city. The center brings together various cultural and religious facilities as well as different educational institutions. These are aligned on a plinth and within the complex form two groups: in the west the place for contemplation, with entrance arcades, cultural center, and minaret, and in the east the place of congregation for up to 20,000 faithful. A park leads from the mosque complex to the school in the south and the urban center.
siteplan © by KSP
The main buildings comprising the mosque are lined up on the longitudinal plot of land along an axis in the direction of Mecca. A continuous plinth brings the individual edifices together and, on account of their raised position, gives then a special effect. The height of the minaret and the length of the entire complex create a strong presence in the urban context over a wide area. The design of the solid plinth marks a clear division from the parallel interstate and creates a direct view of the open sea.section © by KSP 1. floor plan observation deck 2. floor plan research / administration 3. floor plan sky foyer 4. floor plan museum 5. cinema 6. forecourt 7. minaret 8. mosque courtyard 9. prayer room 10. rooms of the imam
Through their alignment and height, the mosque’s ancillary buildings, consisting of a souk and a school, reference the adjoining residential buildings to the south, yet on account of the, as it were square choice of shape they retain a link to the overall ensemble of the mosque complex. In the way they are configured they serve as a buffer zone between the city and the mosque park, which extends like a carpet around the individual building parts and from them creates harmonious whole.ground floor plan © by KSP 1. cinema 2. forecourt 3. minaret 4. cafes/ shops / service 5. ablutions 6. mosque courtyard 7. prayer room 8. rooms of the imam
Its usage, appearance, and size make the minaret unique in the history of Islam and foster an image that extends beyond the (state) city boundaries.
The lower storeys open out invitingly to the plaza and transport visitors by means of panoramic elevators into those upper storeys open to the public, in which the Museum of Islamic History is housed. Above it there are two research areas open to academics only. These can be clearly identified on the outside by the semi-transparent ornamental layer, which envelops the entire building like a second skin.
In the spire there is a public viewing platform. Together with the horizontal out-buildings of the cultural center it creates an overall sculptural shape that in this state does justice to the term “dynamic minaret”.
The contemporary interpretation of the Calla column is an accompanying element throughout the entire complex. In addition to its external functions as a load-bearing structure and source of shade, it also assumes innovative technical functions such as photovoltaics, acoustics, ventilation, and drainage.