Global practice HOK has clad Saudi Arabia’s community mosque located in the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research centre (KAPSARC) with a perforated pattern of glowing windows and surrounded by glass, causing it to change appearance at different times of the day.
KASPARC’s scheme, planned by HOK, includes ten communal building with a mosque, a library and a bowling alley as well as a 200-house residential unit with four other utility structures.
The mosque is conceived as the spiritual heart of the project, where worshippers enter the mosque by climbing floating stone steps and crossing a glass bridge over the reflective pool that surrounds the building.
The perforated glass cladding allows the mosque to take on a different appearance depending on night or day. At night, the glass box appears as a hovering lantern suspended above the ground. In the daytime, shadows from the complex mullion patterns travel over the inner stone façade.
It features a mesh of traditional mashrabiya-styled walls with internal volumes creating an interplay of light and shade.
Enveloping all four walls as well as the ceiling, the mashrabiya screens flow with natural light from the windows and skylights.
Adjacent to the community mosque is a 35m minaret tower that echoes the patterns of the mosque’s façade as well as facilitating the daily calls to prayer.
KAPSARC is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to the study of economics and technology across all platforms of energy.