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Mayor Mohammad Hanif Jame Mosque
Architects: Shatotto
Year: 2018
Area: 16 500 m2
Location: Azimpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Located adjacent to the Azimpur graveyard in Lalbagh, a historical area established by the Mughals over 400 years ago, the Mayor Mohammad Hanif Jummah Mosque is a threshold space on a 16,500 sqft land area belonging to the Dhaka South City Corporation. Much of the new design was inspired by the Azam Shah Mosque built by the Mughals in the Lalbagh Fort and serves as a departure from traditional mosques in both physical and philosophical designs, combining old and new ideas into a contemporary concept. A key feature derived from the Mughal mosque was the “Shaan” – a type of extended open-to-sky terrace attached to the entrance of the main hall. The Shaan provides additional space to accommodate large numbers of devotees during larger gatherings such as the Jummah prayer on Fridays, Eid prayers, and other special occasions. Any other time, it acts as a social hub for the community.

In the new mosque, the Shaan still serves its traditional purposes, but also more. Since the mosque borders Azimpur road on the south and Azimpur graveyard on the north, it acts as a transitional space between the terrestrial and celestial. The mosque as a whole was meticulously designed with structural convenience and spiritual elevation in mind. People entering the Shaan from the south road pass through what is essentially a veil between realms where they are met with the main hall to the east and a bridge of glass and steel framing the graveyard to the north.

Photos by Mike Kelley - Will Scott