The Rijeka Mosque is one of the best-known examples of 20th-century Islamic architecture in Europe. Its design was not conceived by an architect but by Yugoslav abstract sculptor, Dušan Džamonja. The building consists of a superposition of up to 8 hemispheres covered with stainless steel plates. Beneath the spherical shapes, the mosque's rooms are perfectly interconnected with the help of glass walls and skylights.
Mosque architecture in Europe extends beyond the Moorish mosques of Al-Andalus and the Ottoman mosques of the Balkans. During the 20th and 21st centuries, many mosques have been built that blend centuries of tradition with modern design. Here are some of the most prominent contemporary mosques on the continent.
The Central Mosque in Cologne is another notable example. Germany's largest mosque was commissioned by the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs and inaugurated in 2018. The building's modern design came from Gottfried Böhm and his son Paul Böhm, both of whom specialise in church construction. The main materials used in this building were concrete and glass.
Designed by the innovative firm Marks Barfield Architects, Cambridge Central Mosque is an example of contemporary design and an environmentally responsible Muslim place of worship. The interior of Europe's first ecological mosque simulates a small forest made up of 30 wooden trees alluding to paradise. The main element used in the construction of this "forest” is glued laminated timber, while the rest of the structure is made of cross-laminated timber (CLT).
The Sakirn Mosque has become a landmark of modern mosque architecture in Turkey. Designed by architect Hüsrev Tayla, it is not only notorious for its contemporary style but also for being the first mosque where a woman has taken charge of the interior design: Zeynep Fadillioglu. This art historian and interior designer has infused the prayer hall with a mix of Eastern and Western influences, creating a space full of elegance. She has also ensured that the women's area, which is usually a small enclosed area in traditional mosques, is open and interconnected with the rest of the mosque, despite being separate.
Located in the so-called Culture Park of Derinkuyu is another important landmark of modern mosque architecture. Derinkuyu Park Mosque was not designed by an architect but by a sculptor, Hakkı Atamulu. During his time as mayor of the city, Atamulu conceived this mosque, which consists of a single mass with an irregularly shaped central building with a minaret attached to it. The minaret is undoubtedly one of the most unique examples of modern architecture. It originates from the main building of the mosque, with a broad base that gradually narrows to a pointed end.
The Penzberg Mosque was completed in 2005 and won the best work of architecture in Bavaria. The mosque has the shape of a rectangle with large glass windows to create a sense of openness and provide light to the interior. The interior displays traditional Islamic motifs and Arabic calligraphy. Outside, the minaret is also a collage of Arabic calligraphy and is illuminated at night.