Masjid E Zubaida

Project Name: Masjid E Zubaida
Authors: Neogenesis+Studi0261


The architecture of religious structures is often burdened by the symbolism and iconography associated with the typology; elements that dictate its formal composition. Built on a modest budget and a challenging site, this mosque draws from the essential qualities of a space for worship and articulates the elements in simple composition that renders the building a sense of simplicity and elegance. 

The plan accommodates the central prayer space in the customary orientation without compromising on the negative space formed as a virtue of the geometry of the site. Ancillary functions and a finely articulated staircase occupy this odd corner. The elevated entrance helps with the transition from the street and the raised podium accommodates a community space in the basement. For a small site, the architecture ensures adequate spatial allocation for the functional demands. 

Nonetheless, the spatial quality ventures beyond the procedural functions to create a poetic interior space with light filtering through the brick screen and a clerestory façade suspended from a floating slab enabled through inverted beams. The intelligent structural manipulation renders the large concrete slab seemingly weightless hovering on the free façade of the prayer hall. The space within affords retreat, quietude and calm for the user community of the mosque. The two dominant material articulations of plastered walls and exposed brick find equilibrium in their composition and express the functions within the envelope of the building. 

Religious structures with traditionally-rooted precedents either succumb to the formal and symbolic obligations, or are celebrated for a radical departure; a ‘breaking of shackles’ heroism. This project confronts a complex and difficult typology by offering an effortless spatial resolution and a contemporary language to its architecture, all the while staying true to the spirit and aspirations of the space, and the essential atmosphere for the offering of prayer and therefore, Masjid E Zubaida by Neogenesis and Studi0261 is a Citation Project for The Merit List. 

Images & Drawings: courtesy Neogenesis+Studi0261; Photographs © The Fishy Project | Ishita Sitawala

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