Jakarta-based architecture firm RAD+ar (Research Artistic Design + architecture) has recently completed the Bioclimatic Community Mosque of Pamulang, which is located about an hour south of the Indonesian capital. Designed to follow passive solar principles, the bioclimatic building departs from traditional mosque architecture in favor of optimizing indoor comfort, self-sufficiency and minimal maintenance. In addition to maximizing natural light and ventilation, the architects also topped the community mosque with an active green roof — instead of the iconic Islamic dome — in order to reduce the urban heat island effect.

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large red, tan and gray mosque

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. RAD+ar’s strikingly contemporary design for the mosque reflects the building’s multifunctional services.

Related: Henning Larsen Architects reveal plans for a new mosque in Copenhagen that marries Islamic and Nordic design

mosque interior with gray walls and marble floors
mosque interior with gray walls, marble floors and a skylight

Creating low-maintenance and cost-effective safeguards against the region’s extreme heat and humidity drove the design narrative and informed the architects’ decision to replace almost all of the brick partitions with over 30,000 pieces of locally produced accustomed roster block that provide privacy while allowing light and air through. “Basic geometric-volumetric approach as the sunken massing (to harness lower temperature) stacked on top of another, this allowed many level of wind speed variation crossing the building that provides total shade and extreme temperature and air pressure differences that ensure 24 hours cross ventilation & thermal chimney effect,” the architects explained in a press release.

people observing glowing yellow wall
person walking past perforated red wall

Natural lighting is also maximized throughout the building, while strategically placed openings optimize cross ventilating and the stack effect. Both indoor and outdoor spaces were crafted to provide thermal comfort; the inclusion of shaded outdoor spaces large enough to accommodate gatherings has been particularly helpful for accommodating activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

+ RAD+ar

Photography by William Sutanto via RAD+ar

lights shining on large gray and red mosque at night