Speirs + Major wins massive mosque job

Speirs + Major has won a major lighting design contract working on a massive mosque and cultural centre in Tirana, the capital of Albania.
The practice – which is part of a team led by the centre’s designers, BIG architects – created the acclaimed lighting for the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi two years ago.

The 27,000 square metre complex in Tirana will consist of a mosque, an Islamic centre and a museum of religious harmony. The centre is part of a series of urban transformations initiated by artist and Mayor of Tirana Edi Rama. Two churches were recently completed in the area and the new complex will ensure that Albania’s three major religions – Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam – are all represented in the centre of the city. Speirs + Major worked closely withthe competition team to achieve a special quality of filtered daylight that will infuse the project by night and day.
‘This is a highly significant win for us,’ said Speirs + Major director Keith Bradshaw. ‘We will bring to the project a sensitivity towards light and Islamic architecture that stems from our involvement with other religious and national landmarks such as the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi in UAE.’
The winning entry has been selected from a shortlist of five finalists, including Spanish Architect Andreas Perea Ortega; Architecture Studio from France; Dutch SeARCH and London-based Zaha Hadid.
The successful team, led by Danish-based BIG, includes Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold, Speirs + Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger and Global Cultural Asset Management. See a video of the competition-winning design:

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