Mill Road in Cambridge epitomises the cultural melting pot of modern Britain today. It is here, located between Chinese supermarkets, Turkish barbers and Georgian restaurants, that Urquhart & Hunt, in conjunction with Islamic garden specialist, Emma Clark, are pleased to announce their involvement with a new Mosque, dubbed the first ‘Eco Mosque’ in the UK.
Those behind the construction of the Mosque are keen to encourage inclusiveness of the wider community, and to this end the design and layout of the Mosque and its surroundings includes a café and an Islamic-inspired garden open to the public as well as a small public garden between the Mosque enclosure and the pavement. This latter ‘Community garden’ will be planted with Himalayan birch trees, shrubs and flowers – providing much-needed green respite for locals, passers-by and visitors from further afield.
Together with Emma Clark we have been commissioned to design and implement a landscape scheme which includes an Islamic chahar-bagh (four-fold garden) with fruit trees, hedges and mixed planting. Worshippers and visitors will be guided through the garden, around a central fountain with beautiful Turkish-style blue tiles, towards the cafe and entrance portico of the mosque.
The Mosque also includes an extensive green roof, thermal mass and water attenuation facilities. Marks Barfield, architects of London Eye fame, and more recently the Needle in Brighton, have designed the Mosque alongside leading sacred geometry authority, Professor Keith Critchlow. The project is shaping up to be an iconic development for Cambridge.
The Mill Road mosque encompasses everything we love here at U&H: sustainable forward-thinking design, biodiversity, the re-use of a brownfield site incorporating trees and planting – thus creating a positive impact on the local community; as well as the celebration of different cultures that makes Britain such a vibrant and stimulating place to live.