'Bold designs' sought for new 'landmark' mosque to be built in Preston

A competition is under way to seek "bold" designs for a new "landmark" mosque in Broughton, close to the roundabout for the M55 and M6.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:21 am
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:36 am
The new "landmark" mosque will be built at the western end of D’Urton Lane – close to the Broughton bypass and roundabout for the M55 and M6

RIBA (The Royal Royal Institute of British Architects) are seeking "strong and bold designs" for the new mosque, which they say will become a "proud element of Preston’s skyscape for many years to come".

The new mosque will be built at the western end of D’Urton Lane – close to the Broughton bypass and roundabout for the M55 and M6.

RIBA has been commissioned to find a designer on behalf of a local charitable trust, who say they are "looking to create a landmark building" that will make a "real visual statement".

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It is inviting submissions from architects around the world and says designs should be "in accordance with the principles of great British architecture".

It says: "The design should be of the highest quality, both enduring and at the same time modern and reflective of current trends.

It adds that the design team should "seek to create a landmark building", adding that other local "landmark" buildings of worship include St Walburge’s Church in Ashton and the Mormon temple in Chorley.

A spokesman for RIBA said: "This site is located close to the city centre but in its own, prominent setting, visible from a large part of the surrounding area including key routes into Preston.

"Therefore, there is a great opportunity to design a building which will become a proud element of Preston’s skyscape for many years to come."

It says that the mosque will be the equivalent of around three storeys in scale with a large prayer hall of double or triple this height. The main hall will feature a domed roof and have capacity for around 450 prayer mats.

Design guidance provided by RIBA says "the intention is to produce a strong and bold design that is clearly identifiable as a place of worship", but "not necessarily dominated by the traditional Islamic designs."

"It is acceptable to have an element of Islamic flair or features," notes RIBA, "but this is not paramount and if the building has minarets they should be subtle and modern in appearance."

It adds that the building should boast "strong design features" and "a clear focal point" which "gives character and visibility at some distance". It says designers should avoid "the look of a contemporary office building."

The building should also be environmentally-friendly and designers should "seek to achieve a zero carbon development or as close to this as is reasonably possible."

At phase one, the competition is seeking initial design concepts before a shortlist of up to five teams will be chosen to further develop their designs.

RIBA has set a deadline of April 22 for submissions and the competition is open to architects worldwide.