Normally minarets are used by the muezzin to call the faithful to prayer, but a new mosque slated for northern Germany is planning to use the tower to also harness the power of the wind. The eco friendly mosque, which is being designed by Hamburg-architect Selcuk Ünyilmaz, will be located in Norderstedt north of Hamburg and will feature two minarets with integrated energy-generating wind turbines. With approval from the local planning authorities, the mosque is now free to seek out funding for the project.

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Currently, the small Muslim community in Norderstedt holds its services in a 100 year old building that is ill-equipped to house their congregation. The new €2.5m (£2.2m) project will measure approximately 1,300 sq metres and comprise of two parts – the mosque and a larger building containing shops, a travel agency, a cafe, a hairdresser and offices. Two 22-meter-high minarets will be integrated and they will each house a 1.5-metre glass rotor blade wind turbine. At night, lights will be shown onto the turbines to create a light show.

Selcuk Ünyilmaz told the Guardian, “I thought about how we could give sacral architecture an ecological focus.” He continued, “My design combines the modern with the traditional, so I wanted to give the minarets a contemporary function.”

Wind energy was chosen over solar power because northern part of Germany is quite windy and the mosque could make good use of the local conditions.

Although there are currently no other mosques with wind turbines, the German mosque will not be the first. According to the Guardian, the Islamic missionary group Tablighi Jamaat is also planning to build an environmentally friendly mosque with wind turbines in its minarets in time for the London 2012 Olympics. Fund raising for the new eco-mosque is now in full-swing having just received approved from local authorities.

Via The Guardian

Images from Wikimedia