Updated January 2014 - The impressive Jamia Mosque Sultania and Education Centre in the mill town of Brierfield, Lancashire, United Kingdom, is now complete following a ten year design and build project and an investment of GBP 3.5 million from the local Muslim community. The new Mosque building, designed by Mr. Al-Samarraie of Archi-Structure, Baildon, West Yorkshire, is now one of the largest mosques in Lancashire serving up to 2000 worshippers. The interior decoration honours the past by using many traditional materials while also embracing modern methods of construction and advanced, high-performance materials such as DuPont™ Corian® high-tech surface.
The new facility is dedicated to both education and worship and features eight classrooms on the lower ground floor. The spacious main prayer hall offers a ladies prayer area on a mezzanine level for which a special design solution was needed to elegantly separate and yet connect the two areas. Mr. Al-Samarraie designed the thirty-eight decorative arches fitted with mirrored glass, then the responsibility for selecting the final finishing material was passed to Umar Faruque of Studio Architekton, who specialises in contemporary Islamic interiors.
Rather than work with the complexities of marble for this intricate project, Umar Faruque wanted an adaptable modern material that would work in harmony with the aesthetic while also being easy to fabricate and fit. He also needed a material with an extensive colour choice in order to complement the colours of the marble used elsewhere in the mosque. Umar Faruque was familiar with the properties of DuPont™ Corian® and the creative way in which these have been applied to various projects around the world, and he was keen to explore the material's flexibility and flawless finish for this design.
The Trustees of the Mosque chose local specialists M and L Solid Surfaces for the onsite fabrication and installation of the arches following the recommendation by Umar because, having worked with them previously, he was aware of their background in engineering and their ability to achieve the precise tolerances required for this project.
The arches were constructed from an MDF base as per Al-Samarraie's original design and the two colours of Corian® specified for the design (the deep, rich tone of Cocoa Brown and the veined mineral aesthetic of Arrow Root colour), were a 90% match to the colours of the marble in the main prayer hall.
Working with technical support from CD (UK) Ltd, distributors of DuPont™ Corian® in the UK, M and L Solid Surfaces completed the manufacture and installation of the arches within 12 weeks, using 30 sheets of the material.
Skilled techniques used to fabricate the complex curves of the arch design included thermoforming and the seamless bonding of the two chosen colours to ensure a sleek, uniform finish throughout. The arch design is now a stand-out feature that has become one of the most distinctive and admired within the building.
Khalid Hussain, on behalf of the new mosque comments, ‘The Sultania Mosque build has been a huge project for the community and those involved in the construction; everyone is delighted with the final result and appreciative of such a unique building with its many artistic features, all complementing each other. The use of DuPont™ Corian® for the arches was a new but ingenious idea to us; we are pleased with how beautiful it looks, it has become one of the main talking points about the design.’
Masud Ahmed of the Brierfield Mosque continues ‘We were unaware that a material famous for worktops could be so adaptable and creative, and our faith in the designer and the contractors has been rewarded with a quality product and design, which has been completed to a very high standard. The work of all involved, including M and L Solid Surfaces and CD UK, will be widely appreciated by our community for many years to come.’