New eco-friendly mosque opens in Cambridge

PIC: JULIA JOHNSON

A new £23m eco-friendly mosque has opened in Cambridge. 

The mosque on Mill Road will provide for the growing Muslim population of Cambridge who have had to put up with overcrowded prayer spaces.

It has a prayer capacity of 1,000 and an underground carpark for 82 vehicles and 300 bicycles. The site incorporates a large green open to everyone, as well as a cafeteria and some teaching and exhibition spaces.

A spokesperson for the Cambridge Mosque Trust, told Varsity: “Although there have been Muslims in Cambridge for at least a hundred years… the city has, until now, lacked a purpose-built mosque which would cater for the important Muslim segment of the diverse local demography.”

Award-winning architects Marks Barfield, who designed the London Eye, and Professor Keith Critchlow of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, were appointed to design the new mosque.

It will utilise locally generated energy. Heat pumps in the basement will generate heat for the mosque’s internal temperature and rainwater will be harvested for flushing and irrigation.

Dr Tim Winter, chair of the board of trustees, told The Cambridge Independent earlier this year that the mosque is “non-sectarian, non-denominational, inclusive, and not ethnic-specific,” stating that “we want to keep access to the mosque really simple.”

The mosque’s spokesperson further told Varsity that “with growing awareness” of climate change, they “hope that other buildings, sacred and secular, will follow” their lead.

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