Our prayers were finally answered and the Islamic Cultural Centre can finally be realised. In 2009 the project was started and in 2010 a suitable site was purchased. The architectural design of the future Islamic Cultural Centre was determined through an international architectural design competition.
A total of nine teams participated anonymously in the international architectural design competition. Both newcomers and experienced architects from different religious and ethnic backgrounds were invited to submit their designs. The competitors came from Austria, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Sandžak. Eventually, the architecture firm gsp-architektur was unanimously awarded the first prize. In a press conference the winning project was presented to the public by the town’s mayor, Mag. Sieggfried Nagl. The expert panel was composed of members of the Styrian Chamber of Civil Engineers, the executive board of the city planning office, well established experts in Islamic architecture and design, as well as Muslim representatives.
The modern and open design of the Islamic Cultural Centre will reflect the image of European Muslims and European Islam. A 22 m tall symbolic silent minaret will be integrated into the building complex. The Islamic Cultural Centre will not only enrich the city of Graz in general but also develop into a true symbol of the town’s multi-religious character. It will be erected on a generously-sized site of 12,000 sqm at Laubgasse 22. The quiet but central location ensures that the centre can be reached easily by both public transport and private means of transportation. Visitors can use the car park designed for 73 vehicles.
1st construction phase: the mosque
The whole building project, consisting of the mosque and the Islamic Cultural Centre, will be implemented in four steps. In the first stage the mosque, which constitutes the pivotal part of the construction, will be erected. The 400 sqm mosque and a separately accessibly gallery of 200 sqm will offer ample space for prayer. The entrance area of the centre will also be erected in the first construction phase. A large door will connect the entrance area with the mosque. This door can be opened during festivities, thereby enlarging the prayer area.
2nd construction phase: centre of education and administration
The centre of education and administration will be erected in the second construction phase. The facilities will comprise offices, a conference room, lecture rooms, breakout rooms, an area for young people, an IT room and an extensive special library. We wish to create rooms for gatherings, get-togethers (such as youth and women’s meetings) and training programmes (such as workshops, lectures and tutoring). The centre will be open to children, youths and adults alike.
3rd construction phase: business centre
In the third step a restaurant with an outdoor dining area and space that can be rented to shops, offices and service companies will be created. In addition, the centre will be equipped with two apartments for staff members and two guest rooms.
It is our objective that in the future, revenues from the business centre will meet the expenses of the Islamic Cultural Centre.
4th construction phase: general purpose hall
In the final stage a general purpose hall to be used for various cultural events (such as wedding festivities according to Islamic custom, and festivities to celebrate the birth of a child) and sporting events will be erected. Like the mosque, the general purpose hall will be connected to the entrance area by a large door, which can be opened in order to enlarge the prayer area during festivities.
Informations about the Islamic Cultural Center Graz: