The Birmingham Central Mosque was open to the public in the early 1970’s, and since then it has become a landmark in the Highgate area of Birmingham. When starting to analyse the Birmingham Central Mosque, I was interested in how it is being currently occupied at the present time, and how spaces are set out.
The main ‘sacred’ elements of the mosque, the prayer halls, are separated from ‘profane’ elements [such as the school hall, meeting rooms etc.] through division of floors. These are located on the first and second floor for men and women respectively with main access gained through a stair to the first floor.
While only preliminarily researching, the two different elements to the mosque are immediately apparent from the diagram I have constructed above. The inclusion of a variety of community spaces shows that the mosque is not only a spiritual place that is used for worship, but it has also become a community hub that serves the Highgate community as a whole.
The idea that the community spaces are presently situated on the ground floor also raises points suggesting that the mosque was specifically designed to engage with the wider urban context by including readily accessible community spaces within the ground floor, the public domain, in its first iteration. While designing the brief for the new mosque, it would be interesting to raise the idea of using this same format to again engage with the wider public through the use of this ideal.