Back in 2010, we reported that the Cambridge Muslim community was planning to build Europe’s first eco mosque which would minimise carbon emissions and maximise the role faith has to play in environmental protection. Years on and the plans which were drawn up by Marks Barfield Architects have finally been approved. The mosque committee is now in fundraising mode and has already raised 19% of the money needed to build the mosque – or as they put it, 67,832 of the 350,000 bricks needed to construct the mosque have been paid for.
The Muslim Academic Trust, the UK charity promoting the new mosque development said they were delighted that their plans had been approved. “This is wonderful news for Cambridge,” said Tim Winter, Chair of the Trust, who has been leading the project since the site was bought in April 2008. “Cambridge is one of Britain’s great international cities, welcoming thousands of overseas students and academics every year, many of them of Muslim heritage. It’s tragic that there is still no significant purpose-built mosque to accommodate this community… Now a solution is in sight.”
The mosque will incorporate many green features including a large community garden which will be created by world-leading landscape designer Emma Clark. As Tim Winters explains, this will be a much needed green lung and oasis for the run-down part of Cambridge.
The mosque will also include a teaching zone for the entire community, a cafe with a garden terrace, an art exhibition space and a performance area.
The Trust added: “Reflecting Islam’s contribution to contemporary debates over sustainability, the mosque will incorporate significant design features which will minimise carbon emission and emphasise the role of faith in promoting responsible management of the earth’s resources.” These include heat pumps, water recycling, natural ventilation and lighting and a sedum roof. They will also be dedicated areas to support the nesting of local bird species and facilities provided for cyclists.
To support this project and donate, go to Cambridge Mosque is Moving.