Timber construction for the senses

With its light and dark clinker brick facade, the mosque in Cambridge, England, is in perfect sympathy with the surrounding rows of typical houses. The timber construction becomes clearly apparent in the entrance area, where the first of the thirty timber columns can be seen as they soar upwards like trees, merging with the lattice-like ceiling structure to form a vast tracery of timber. In addition to a prayer hall with a ceiling height of 8.5 m that can accommodate around 1,000 worshippers, the building includes a café and two apartments.

The design by London-based Marks Barfield Architects draws on the motif of a garden of paradise, with the interweaving branches of the trees forming the supporting timber structure. The Blumer Lehmann free-form team advised the architects on the implementation of the challenging structure during the development phase. Our know-how of digital processes and parametric planning came to the fore during the subsequent production. Together with our partners, we developed a modular system from design to production with 2746 components in 145 variants, thus overcoming the complex challenges of production, logistics and assembly. Precise labelling of the various components ensured efficient and clear organisation. Thanks to the exact timing, each component reached the construction site in England at the correct time, allowing seamless assembly by our team.

Project details

Client:
Cambridge Mosque Trust
Architecture:
Marks Barfield Architects
Project type:
Art and culture
Construction type:
Free Form
Services:
Timber construction
Construction:
2018
Locality:
Cambridge, UK
The interior is dominated by the tree-like wooden supporting structure. The skylights in the ceiling light up the vast space. The doors and individual details on the walls are designed in an oriental wooden structure.

Prayer hall with free-form supporting structure

Gallery

Photograph taken beneath the dome of the Cambridge Mosque from the inside. The tree-like wooden supporting structures can be seen around the dome.

30 skylights bathe the mosque in light

The tree-like supporting structure can even be seen from outside the Cambridge Mosque. The forecourt provides green space while the walls are designed with striking patterns.

Entrance to the mosque

Overall view of the Cambridge Mosque taken from the access road. The tree-like wooden supporting structure in the entrance area and golden dome in the background are already visible.

External view of Cambridge Mosque

External photograph of the Cambridge Mosque. The image also shows a number of men in conversation around the oriental fountain with seating.

View of the mosque’s atrium

The photograph shows the washing area of the Cambridge Mosque. The stools are made of stone and clad with wooden panels. The taps are fixed to a blue slab wall.

Place for the faithful to perform cleaning rituals

Detailed view of the oriental patterned wall of the Cambridge Mosque

Eastern ornamentation

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