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Cambridge Central Mosque

Education & Public SectorStructural

Cambridge Central Mosque

Project Info

The first purpose-built mosque in Cambridge is a calm oasis of contemplation within a grove of trees, inspired by an image of the garden of paradise – with its water fountain symbolising the source of all life.

Timber was chosen for its natural, warm and calming qualities. The expressed vaulted structure is glulam, while the surrounding wall and roof structure is CLT. The guiding geometry of the building is The Breath of the Compassionate, a historic Islamic pattern which evokes breathing in and out. Repeating star octagons are converted into a continuous structural pattern and projected onto the three-dimensional fan vaulting form. Alternate octagons are converted to the structural columns or ‘trunks’. The 30 trees create an overall impression of stillness, quiet and focus. 2746 pieces form the vaulted structure. Wherever possible metal connectors have been replaced with half lap joints for continuity of timber grain.


ArchitectMarks Barfield Architects

Structural EngineerPrice & Myers

Wood SupplierMayr-Melnhof Holz Reuthe GmbH

ContractorGilbert Ash, Pacegrade

SpeciesEuropean spruce, oak and mahogany

ClientCambridge Mosque Trust

JoineryThe Deluxe Group

Structural FrameBlumer Lehmann

Project LeaderBidwells

Building services & sustainability consultantSkelly & Couch

cambridge mosque