London-based Luca Poian Forms beat more than 200 entries from 40 different countries with its design for the large mosque on land south of D’Urton Lane.
Run by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the competition said the unnamed client wanted an “inspirational design” that would make a “timeless landmark building.”
The RIBA evaluation panel unanimously chose Luca Poian Forms’ “Brick Veil” design. The proposed building has an elliptical design and includes a minaret tower that alludes to Lancashire’s cotton mill chimneys.
“By virtue of its scale, form, and materiality, the mosque will be executed as a highly refined building that celebrates Islamic tradition whilst also paying homage to British craft,” said architect Luca Poian.
Luca Poian Forms was chosen from a shortlist of five practices, including Blankpage Architects in Lebanon, Borough Architects + buchhandler-nelli + elca in Cambridge, Mcheileh Studio in New York and Tabe Shouri, also from New York.
Having a design will play a key part in getting the mosque planning permission, which had been deferred at a Preston Council meeting on 8 July. At that time, planning committee members had said it would wait to give a verdict on the application until details for the design and layout of the building, more information on parking and evidence of need were given. The committee also said it would undertake a site visit.
The application had proven contentious even before it made its way to the council. It was recommended for refusal from Preston Council’s director of development and housing, over concerns of the design, the site itself and traffic issues. The council had also received 427 formal letters of objection to the scheme, including from Ben Wallace MP and Broughton Parish Council. There were also 652 letters received in support of the mosque.