The Islamic Religious and Cultural Centre project comprises the construction of several buildings functioning as one whole. The complex consists of four main volumes; i.e. a mosque with an abdesthana and a minaret, a residential building, an administrative building with a lecture hall and an educational facility with a gym. In addition, there is a garage with a restaurant and a terrace. In total, it covers an area of approximately 8,500 m2.
The load-bearing structure of the mosque’s central building is made of visible white concrete up to a height of 6m. It is a double-wall sandwich construction of 25cm thickness, with a 10cm thermal insulation in between, with shear steel sheets connecting the two walls transversely. In addition to those elements, wall cooling and grooves for the internal sound system are integrated in the inner visible wall. All inside corners of the walls and the wreath are rounded rather than rectangular. In order to achieve a uniform visible concrete surface, the walls were concreted in 6m high liners. Anchors for the steel supporting structure of the façade were installed in the concrete wreath during the concreting phase. On it, glass cassette panels with a total height of 18m have been suspended, with circular screen-printed patterns that thin out with height. The load-bearing structure of the flat roof, of the glass façade and of outer disguises are interconnected without bolted joints to form a monolithic structure.
The load-bearing structures of the ancillary buildings are made of reinforced concrete. The buildings are ornamented around the central platform, from which the entrances to individual programmes are located. Only the mufti’s quarters and the accompanying offices are oriented towards the square.
The outer perimeter of the complex is formed by clearly structured façades in the combination of visible concrete, steel, glass and wood. All external concrete surfaces are visible and watertight, and the surface enables a high degree of hydrophobic protection. The concrete surfaces in both the basement (grey) and above the basement (white) are of the highest quality fitted for visible concrete, which allows for limited shrinkage, resulting in very small cracks and a dilatation-free design. For the implementation of visible concrete surfaces, it was essential to plan the entire concrete supply and installation chain with appropriate formwork and skilled labour. The timber part of the façade and the interior finishes are made of extra quality (knot-free) Siberian larch laths.
The internal façades of the buildings in contact with the square and the mosque are covered by a mesh steel structure, which acts as a textile perimeter and separates the individual programmes from the sacredness of the mosque. It is a complex welded steel structure, which was executed in the workshop using multiple welding processes. On site, the elements of the outer disguise were lifted and assembled to their final state. In order to meet all excellency criteria of the customer and of the designer, and given the engineering complexity of the project, it was necessary to anticipate and plan all the steps (geodetic monitoring of tolerances, quality of welds, corrosion protection, etc.) both in the workshop and on site in good time during the actual execution.
The materials and compositions that dominate the interior of the buildings are combinations of terrazzo flooring, Siberian larch joinery, glass and interior Inox stainless steel elements.
However, the special design and the finishing touch of the entire Islamic Religious and Cultural Centre in Ljubljana is seen in the exterior landscaping with a cascade garden, its pools and the water mirror between the mosque and the abdesthana, as well as the finished platform, which completes the previously degraded area into a beautiful whole and thus creates an extra engineering quality.
Investor: Islamic Community in the Republic of Slovenia
Location: Džamijska Street, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Scope of work: construction, electrical and mechanical installations
Year: 2015 – 2019
Architect: Bevk Perović architects