BEAUTIFUL MOSQUES OF THE WORLD:
THE QUBA MOSQUE OF MEDINA
When Abdel-Waleed El Wakil was commissioned, in the 20th century, to conceive a larger mosque, he intended to incorporate the old structure into his design. But the old mosque was torn down and replaced with a new one.
The new mosque consists of a rectangular prayer hall raised on a second storey platform. The prayer hall connects to a cluster containing:
- residential areas,
- ablution facilities,
- shops, and
- a library
Six additional entrances are dispersed on the northern, eastern and western façades. Four minarets mark the corners of the prayer hall. The minarets rest on square bases, have octagonal shafts which take on a circular shape as they reach the top.
The prayer hall is arranged around a central courtyard, characterised by six large domes resting on clustered columns. A portico, which is two bays in depth, borders the courtyard on the east and west, while a one-bayed portico borders it on the north, and separates it from the women's prayer area.
The women's prayer area, which is surrounded by a screen, is divided into two parts as a passageway connects the northern entrance with the courtyard.
When Quba Mosque was rebuilt in 1986, the Medina architecture was retained - ribbed white domes, and basalt facing and modest exterior - qualities that recalls Madina's simplicity. The courtyard, is flagged with black, red and white marble. It is screened overhead by day from the scorching heat with shades. arabesque latticework filters the light of the palm groves outside. Elements of the new building include work by the Egyptian architect Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil and the Stuttgart tensile architect Mahmoud Bodo Rasch, a student of Frei Otto.