Initial research into the Birmingham Central Mosque’s history has proved to be quite unexpected. After the group known as the Muslim Association had approached the City Council to establish the Central Mosque in 1956, I was quite surprised to find out that the Council had not only been completely supportive for the proposal, but also allocated a specific area of land in Highgate and had the desire to create a building that served ‘not merely this area but the city as a whole’. The intention was to create a building that encompassed diversity and acted as a regional landmark, establishing a central hub for all sects of Muslims within the city.
The mosque was also necessary as all adapted buildings actings as mosques between 1939 to the 1950s had been out grown, the Muslim population in Birmingham had increased from 400 to 4000. However, the current Muslim population has now reached 140,000 and the centre cannot accommodate for such high numbers. It seems that the main concern is the amount of prayer space, but access into the site is also a major factor to be considered with the prospect of large numbers coming and going from the building.
On the site visit, I hope to gain a better understanding of the use and circulation of the building in relation to its capacity.