Education City Mosque in Doha – breathtaking religious architecture

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A group of students with headphones is sitting in a class room. Some of them are looking up distractedly through the huge glass window to the corridor as we pass. We are wandering about the convoluted building of the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies trying to locate the new Education city mosque. The floor plan showing emergency exits only makes us more confused.

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The Education City Mosque is the second building we visit in Education City. Education City is a nearly 15 km2 large quarter in the west of Doha, destined to become a hotspot of international universities, research institutes, convention centres and museums.

Although some of the universities – most of them offshoot campuses of major US universities – have been there longer, the development started in earnest with in the early 2000s. The starting shot was the master plan by Japanese architect Isozaki Arata, who also built the Doha National Convention Centre overlooking the main boulevard.

Finding the mosque in Education City

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Getting to the Education City Mosque was not easy for us. Doha is a city for cars – nobody seems to walk there! We had to cross several major building sites and a clogged multi-lane radial road. And then, we felt relief when we arrived at the huge asymmetrical shape that we recognised as the University Mosque.

The Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies is part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University. It is situated east of the other universities and closest to the city.

Looking at the photos now it is obvious that we had not difficulty recognising it. That’s because the Faculty basically consists of several huge white blobs with two tilted spikes, the minarets of the stunning University Mosque.

Quite clearly, this is not only the most daring and unconventionally built mosque we have ever seen, but one of the most impressive examples of contemporary religious architecture in general that we have visited.

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A ceiling full of stars

Built by the architectural team of Mangera Yvars, the mosque has all the typical features – minarets and a prayer room with a mihrab (prayer niche) and minbar (elevated preacher’s seat), a second floor women’s balustrade shaded from view, tables and bookshelves for studying the Quran, shelves for the shoes outside the prayer room … but the size and form of all these elements are daring and unusual. Among the most impressive details were the calligraphy and stars seemingly floating over the ceiling.

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Indeed, you even get electronic counters instead of rosary beads for use inside the mosque.

Maybe it was because of the ongoing construction work and the general emptiness of the building? In any case, we were able to stroll on our own through the building and take a lot of pictures!

Isn’t it fabulous?

If you liked this post, see also our related post: Stunning contemporary architecture in Doha

NB: We were not sponsored to write this post. We organised and planned the whole trip ourselves.

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  1. Whoa! That’s daring, stunning and…. I’m at a loss of words. Wow. Absolutely wow. The architecture is just mind blowing. Btw, are the stars on the ceiling lit by skylight or artificial lights? You’re right, after seeing some photos it wouldn’t be difficult to identify such an unusual architecture.

  2. I’m obsessed with architecture, especially modern architecture. So I would love to visit and photograph this mosque.

  3. This is such a fascinating and elaborate structure. I don’t really “get” the two spikes… can you actually climb up those at all form within the building? Or do they have no practical purpose beyond being an architectural experiment?

  4. Being a man in construction, I’m really able to appreciate the work that went into design and build of such an amazing building. The stars in the roof is unreal and would of same experience craftsman to carry it out. Really nice post.

  5. I want to visit Doha sometime soon. I have been planning for it for a long time now. And it is nice to know about the Education city mosque. Love that architecture and this is the best part about mosques I think. Also, love that ceiling of stars, so pretty that looks.

  6. It is fabulous! The site is innovative and impressive and does not follow the typical mosque design. I must say that all the other mosques I have seen are equally beautiful, but this one is unique.

  7. I love the Middle East for their mystical architecture and you had me at the wall ceiling calligraphy!! Viewing the teeming stars on top must have been an absolute moment in itself, I saw something similar (albeit those were fixated in the shape of a star) in a mall in Dubai, I think it was the Dubai Mall or the Burjuman. I like how you start your blog! 🙂

    1. Dear Aradhana, thanks for your kind words! We have visited a lot of mosques during our travels, but the mosque in Education city was really outstanding!

  8. Such a lovely blend of contemporary and traditional architecture. I loved that ceiling of stars- kind of befitting when you can see them while praying. They seem to have taken care of all possible needs like shoe racks – and all done so well.

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