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The first steps towards building the Ulu Mosque and cultural centre took place in the 1980s, when the Utrecht city council developed an urban renewal plan. Eventually, in the year 2000, the mosque’s board was able to commission architect Ishak Onen to design a modern and open structure that would be recognisable as a mosque and perform all the necessary functions for the Turkish Islamic residents of the ‘Kop van Lombok’ area of Utrecht. Private investors made the construction possible.
About the project
The new mosque is positioned so that its main facade is visible to the local neighbourhood. The structure is symmetrical, cube-shaped and flanked by 2 minarets. The central dome, which sits over the prayer rooms, is a distinctive landmark.
The ground floor consists of an entrance hall, various shops, ritual washing areas and toilets. The second floor is home to the main prayer room, with the dome soaring high above. Additional prayer rooms on the third and fourth floor overlook the main prayer room. On the walls and ceilings, there are numerous decorative features that include genuine gold leaf.
The arrangement of the building’s various levels creates an atrium-like space, which required the installation of 200 metres of Easy Glass Slim glass balustrade. The transparent balustrade keeps visitors safe as they move around the mosque, without making them feel shut in. From the prayer rooms on the third and fourth floor you can see down into the main prayer room on the second floor. The result is a feeling of spiritual energy and openness.