Corniche Mosque - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network

Corniche Mosque

Corniche Mosque
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Arabian Peninsula)
Architect: Abdel Wahed El-Wakil
Client: Municipality of Jeddah and Ministry of Pilgrimage and Endowments
Completed: 1986
Site size: 1'200 m

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Corniche Mosque Project Brief

The powerful silhouette of this mosque, one of three set as pavilions along the corniche of Jeddah, facing the Red Sea, proclaims to all the presence of Islam. Classically Islamic in form, it has been rethought and transformed to serve contemporary purposes. Technologically, this building reflects the architect's extensive research in the methods whereby Egyptian mosques of the traditional high culture were built. The entire structure is of brick coated with plaster except for the dome interior in which the bricks are exposed and painted a dark bronze colour. The prayer hall itself is at the centre of a composition that includes the mihrab, projecting outward from the eastern wall just below an oculus, an entrance porch covered by a catenary vault and a square-based minaret with an octagonal shaft. The jury commended the architect for the effort to compose formal elements in ways that bespeak the present and at the same time reflect the luminous past of Islamic societies.

1989 Award Recipients