A mosque plays a significant role in Islam. It connects the brotherhood and unity amongst the Muslim communities spiritually acting as a centre of the platform. Several activities are involved within a mosque but the main purpose is to pray for Salat-al-Jamaat. Hence, mosque has become an obligatory part of every Muslim settlement worldwide. A criterion for a mosque irrespective of place and culture is similar all over the world, as the standard is followed by Islam.
The AnderKilla (meaning “the inner fort”) Shahi Jame Mosque is a 362 years old mosque of Mughal era standing at 32 feet high from the ground on a hilltop. It was built during 1667 AD by Umed Khan, son of Nawab Shayesta Khan, as a symbol of triumph of the Mughals. Over time many alterations took place in the mosque.
The visibility of the Mughal mosque has been cloaked completely due to the extension of the mosque and surrounded buildings. Currently, 3000 people can pray in the mosque at once while many people pray on the road during Friday prayer. In addition to that, the book market below has extremely poor ventilation.
This studio project is proposed by Ramisa Yeameen Chowdhury, a student of Brac University. Her design thrives to meet up its necessity with an added flavor of exposure of the Mughal mosque, accommodating twice the number of people to pray, relocating the shops, creating public interaction and tourist attraction.
Her studio teachers were Mohammad Habib Reza, Ar. Abul Fazal Mahmudun Nobi, Saad Yusuf Andalib, Zillur Rahman Babu.
The Anderkilla Shahi Jame Mosque is a two-storied mosque which stands 30 feet high from the road level. Below the plaza, a two-storied book market is located. The mosque had been rebuild and extended by removing all the illegal ownership on the site and had introduced a book market alongside the mosque for its finance and welfare. Religiously this seems to oppose the present situation of the existing function. The challenge was to re-design in a manner so that both functions work productively discretely, yet together, without interrupting other functions.
This project acts as a medium for people from every other religion to be acquainted with and build up more knowledge about Islam by being a part of it.
In addition to that, it would also be a place for the tourists from all around the world to come, feel the essence of the Mughal period mosque, and be conscious about the history of Islam.
Due to the extension of the mosque, it made relatively obscure to identify the Mughal period mosque. In reality, only the extension of the mosque can be seen from the main road and the exposure of the Mughal mosque is not evident. It is disheartening to witness the vanishing of sensitivity towards the history and heritage which reflects our roots as a nation. This project aimed to raise awareness amongst everyone by exposing the Mughal mosque and by adding an essence of Mughal era. The aim was also to hit people in their soul trying to connect it spiritually.