Mahmud Qabadu Mosque / by Philippe Barriere Collective

Hybrid Architecture for Religious Facility (high low- tech design and construction)

The mosque has been designed to become a religious and urban landmark playing a central role within the rural community. It is positioned at the center of the two-major axis of the urban development, joining the rural park with the main commercial artery and the two large urban pedestrian plazas (one with shops, the other without).

This privileged setting signifies unity and centrality, reflecting the role played by Islam in everyday life. The mosque has two main entrances (one for men and one for women) opening directly to the non-commercial pedestrian plaza which can accommodate groups of worshipers before entering or exiting the mosque. Two reflecting pools establish a reverential distance and a peaceful quiet threshold between on one side, the park, and the other, the main street. At the same time the pools flow from the place of worship to the origin of the irrigation system, suggesting the sublime connection between the nourishment of the soul and that of the earth.

The enclosure walls do not wholly seal the interior, since, as they soar upwards they gradually become more porous, ultimately transforming into Moucharaby. The cooling breeze and natural light from the park flow freely through the walls, letting the building naturally breathe, meanwhile the floor is constantly kept warm at human body temperature.

The overarching vault is erected by local masons using local materials. Its parametric design and digital fabrication involve the use of RhinoVAULT software (Funicular Form Finding The Rhinoceros® Plug-In RhinoVAULT). It is a structural form using the Thrust-Network-Approach to intuitively create and explore compression-only structures.

(1) Mahmud Qabadu (1812–1872) of Tunisia, also Muhammad Qabadu,[1] was a scholar of Quranic studies, a progressive member of the ulama, and a long-time professor at the Zaytuna mosque academy.

Team: Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co), Adnen Ben Tanfous (Associate Partner), Samir Assad, Yosri Boukadida, Vicky Tessier, Lucie Riedweg, David Boisseau, Wael Ben Mansour.
Graphic Designer: Abderrahmen Ezzine
Date: 2016-2017
Project: Mosque for « La Colline aux Oliviers » a rurban community
Location: “La Colline aux Oliviers” – City of Jedaida
Manouba Governorate – Tunisia.

Client: Tunisian Republic, Manouba Governorate,
Delegation of Jedaida.
Private Investor: Société de promotion immobilière Le Mont Fleury Groupe Bayahi.
Engineer: Tarek Ghorbel, Structural Engineer, SOGEP Batiment, Tunisia.
Engineering Software: RhinoVAULT – Designing funicular form in Rhinoceros (Block Research Group BRG).

About Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co)

Challenging both theory and practice, the Collective has developed a forward-thinking expertise addressing suburbanization (i.e. ParkUrbia), the Interstate Highway System (i.e. Infrastructure Architecture), social and humanitarian issues such as homelessness, refugee camps and health crises. More recently it has developed the concept of Hybrid Architecture (i.e High-Low Tech) in the Maghreb.

The Collective integrates highly competent specialists and manufacturers early in the design process to develop simple, efficient, practical and highly sophisticated cutting edge solutions. It has developed a long time working relation with the renown engineering and fabrication company like A. Zahner co. and called out aerospace technology manufacture specialists (Beechcraft, Cessna, Boeing) for innovative technical solutions.

State president advisers, international institutions (UNWRA, CTC.. etc), private foundations, NGO, local communities, social entrepreneurs and private and corporate clients have trusted the collective to provide them with unique solutions.

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