The Making of a Mosque
Djamaâ al-Djazaïr. The Grand Mosque of Algiers by KSP Engel
The world’s third-largest mosque and Africa’s tallest structure to date: the Djamaa al-Djazaïr in Algiers, designed by KSP Engel, is a monument of superlatives
1st edition, 2022
248 pages, 190 color and 32 b/w illustrations and plans
23 x 31 cm
Symbol of Islam, monument of superlatives, and the heart of an entirely new metropolitan district: the Djamaa al-Djazaïr is an edifice with many different facets. In 2008, Frankfurt-based architecture firm KSP Engel’s design won the international competition for Algiers new Grand Mosque, which was completed in 2019 after more than a decade of planning and construction work. The vast structure runs along the Bay of Algiers shoreline for well over 650 yards. A giant 230 feet-high dome covers the main prayer hall, and the 870 feet-high minaret constitutes Africa’s tallest building to date. Surrounded by extensive gardens, the entire complex houses a range of facilities, including a museum, a theological college, a library, a convention center, and a cinemateque. It forms a unique religious, cultural, and economic center that is a magnet for the entire region. And it unites as an intercultural undertaking combining genuine Algerian craftsmanship with superb Chinese efficiency and meticulous German planning and engineering skills.
With rich detail and lavish illustrations, this book tells the full story of how Algiers Djamaa al-Djazaïr, the world’s third-largest mosque after those of Mecca and Medina, was created and constructed. A historical and typological classification of this singular structure in the long history of mosque construction rounds out this stunning volume.
Jürgen Engel is an architect and principal of Frankfurt-based firm KSP Engel, with offices also in Berlin, Braunschweig, Hamburg, Munich, Beijing, and Shenzhen. One of Germany’s most established architecture firms with a history of more than eighty years and trading under its current name since 2009, KSP Engel has won some 200 national and international awards for realized buildings in Germany and China.
Christian Welzbacher is a Berlin-based scholar of art history and freelance writer, publicist, and curator.