Jakarta-based architecture studio RAD+ar (Research Artistic Design + architecture) has recently completed the Pamulang bioclimatic community mosque, located about an hour south of the Indonesian capital.
Designed to follow the principles of passive solar energy, the bioclimatic building departs from traditional mosque architecture in favor of optimizing interior comfort, self-sufficiency and minimal maintenance.
In addition to maximizing the use of natural light and ventilation, the architects also crowned the community mosque with an active green roof – instead of the iconic Islamic dome – to reduce the urban heat island effect.
Spanning an area of 1,200 square meters to accommodate approximately 1,000 people, the Bioclimatic Community Mosque is more than just a place of worship. Like many mosques, the Pamulang building also functions as a community center, meeting space, and recreational space for the surrounding neighborhood. The strikingly contemporary design of the mosque reflects the building’s multifunctional services.
Creating low-maintenance, cost-effective spaces against the region’s extreme heat and humidity prompted the architects’ design to replace almost all brick partitioning with more than 30,000 pieces of locally produced block. These blocks provide privacy while allowing light and air to pass through.
Natural lighting is also maximized throughout the building, while strategically placed openings optimize cross ventilation and chimney effect. Both interior and exterior spaces were created to provide thermal comfort; the inclusion of shaded outdoor spaces large enough to accommodate gatherings has been particularly helpful in accommodating activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.