THE GRAND MOSQUE RIYADH – ImAm mohammad bin turki Bin Abdullah Mosque
Client: Riyadh Development Authority
Location: Al-Riyadh-Saudi Arabia
Services Provided: Design Competition, Design & Architectural Supervision
Total Built-up Area: 30,000 m2
Construction Cost: US $ 50,000,000
Starting Date: 1984 Design - 1988 Supervision
Completion Date: 1985 Design - 1992 Supervision
1984 - Spearheaded by Salmani Architecture, the revitalization of the historic city centre of the capital Riyadh was taken to new heights with the inception of the Grand Mosque project. This iconic venture was not only monumental in its design but also garnered accolades by being awarded the Agha Khan Award for mosque design and Islamic architecture.
The revitalization entailed the transformation of existing streets, introducing landscaped plazas and pathways which immensely augmented the aesthetic appeal of the area. The project boasted of two pivotal components: the Grand Mosque, which offers a spiritual sanctuary to 20,000 worshipers, and an amalgamation of Quran schools, administrative offices, retail shops, and residences for employees.
Drawing inspiration from historic architectural marvels, the design of the Grand Mosque is heavily influenced by precedents like the old mosque of Riyadh. A thorough analysis of the mosque was conducted from myriad angles. Comprehensive sets of sketches, drawings, plans, sections, and elevations were produced, revealing the intricate volumetric and spatial configurations set within its urban context. This meticulous process extended to assessing various architectural aspects ranging from basic geometrics and relationships to detailed elevations and ornate embellishments. Furthermore, a deep dive was taken into the environmental, climatic, and cultural attributes alongside local and social patterns of behavior. This holistic approach culminated in a design that resonates with the spatial character of the Najdi idiom. One of the standout features of this project, in addition to fostering intellectual and urban development, lies in its harmonious blend of traditional local materials and patterns with a contemporary flair. This was achieved by the seamless integration of innovative materials and avant-garde techniques.