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October 17 2021 7:00 AM ˚

Al-Rawda Mosque: A poetic ode to light, shadow, and pattern

Worshippers to Al-Rawda are welcomed by a huge 4-meter high door, leading to the domed prayer hall. (Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)
Worshippers to Al-Rawda are welcomed by a huge 4-meter high door, leading to the domed prayer hall. (Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)
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AMMAN — Completed during the holy month of Ramadan in 2011 by Uraiqat Architects, the 620sq.m Al-Rawda Mosque grabs the attention of everyone who passes by and is a destination for on average, 400 worshippers on Fridays alone.اضافة اعلان

Located in the neighborhood of Badr Al-Jadidah — a quiet residential area on the edges of Amman — the site is close to the main street and located at the intersection of three roads surrounded by green hills and residential buildings that adds a sense of modesty and simplicity to the religious building.


The Al-Rawda Mosque is seen in this undated photo. The mosque emphasizes minimalism. (Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)

The architect’s work can be seen in the tiniest details of the mosque, from the interior to the ornaments and door handles, which reflects the space’s identity.

The building’s masses form a V-shaped plan, allowing the main entrance to be defined and celebrated. The mass on the left mainly contains the domed men’s prayer hall while the right mass contains the women’s mezzanine, a library, staircase, and amenities areas such as bathrooms and ablution areas.

The minaret is on the left side of the plan, yet it is separated from the mosque, creating a strong visual expression of verticality, with its pure geometric and rectangular form, ending with an elegant perforated Islamic pattern.



The dome on the roof is simple and proportional, making the whole building homogeneous with its surroundings and urban context. (Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)

One of the outstanding features of the mosque is the grey perforated patterns on both sides: a freestanding pattern on the left in front of the men’s prayer hall with a planter between them and another one on the right in front of the shoe racks.

The perforated walls use a pattern that is a re-adaptation of a Seljug Pattern from eastern Islamic traditions, which not only adds complexity and aesthetics to the building’s lightly colored and simple stonework, but also plays a huge role in both the privacy of worshipers and the spirituality of shadows in the mosque in the morning and at night.

As for the experience, worshippers are welcomed by a huge 4-meter high door, leading to the domed prayer hall, a double volume that overviews the praying area, directed towards Al-Qibla, and the glass wall with shadows formed by the perforated wall.

The patterns continue in the interior with wood, creating an element of change that manages to stick to the same style as the outside. We can see this in the Mihrab, Minbar, Quran shelves, benches, and partition wall between the men and women’s prayer halls.

The dome on the roof is simple and proportional, making the whole building homogeneous with its surroundings and urban context, with a sculpted crescent on top that uses familiar perforations.

This mosque speaks represents a minimal type of architecture, that does not only challenge more conventional local mosques’ approaches, but also allows its elements to  create a special and spiritual experience, where shadows, textures, and perforations are emphasized and poetically designed.

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