Hassan II Mosque:

It is the lavish mosque jutting over the Atlantic Ocean. It was constructed under the leadership of King Hassan II in 1993 at Casablanca, Morocco. Not only the largest Muslim mosque in the Africa continent but also the seventh greatest mosque in the world. The thrown of its construction and design was on the head of Bouygues and Michel Pinseau respectively. It was built in almost seven years and by almost 10,000 architectures collectively. It involves the blend of Moorish architectural style and modern equipment.

Fig.1 Hassan Mosque Casablanca

History:

In 1961, the death of King Mohammad V became a significant reason for mosque construction. His death instigated King Hassan to build a mausoleum in honor of the King V. He invited all the artisans of the country to deliver their innovative and artistic ideas about the monument. In 1980, Hassan II stated his vision clearly about mausoleum at Casablanca. He explained that he wanted to build the mosque on the water as God’s throne is on water.

No doubt, King Hassan II’s ambitions came true with the help of civil engineering group Bouygues and French architect Michel Pinseau of Morocco. King Hassan II, Michel Pinseau and Bouygues all contributed in creation of the opulent and magnificent monuments.

On 12th July 1986 early work on the mosque started. It was scheduled to be completed until 1989 at Hassan’s 60th birthday. The 1400 labor worked at day and 1100 at night along with 10,000 craftsmen and artists to beautify it. It was inaugurated on 30 August 1993 (or 11th Rabi’ al-Awwal in Islamic calendar 1414) after the labor of seven years is completed.

Geography:

Its geographical location is of prime importance because of its association with Bd Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah. It is 22 acres complex huddle among El Hank lighthouse and the harbor. It is within walking distance of Casa-Port. Its ten-lane connects to the palace Oued el Makhazine in the central city passing through shopping avenues.

The mosque lies on the Atlantic Ocean. Its building has a partial association with the sea and partial with the land. The linkage between land and sea was created through a rock outcrop. Pineau designed the building in a way that it can endure erosive action and natural disasters as an earthquake. A length pier of 2600 ft was erected as a preventive measure against pillars foundation protection during construction.

Other geographical Islamic importance of the mosque includes 41 fountains, hammams, madrasa, a museum, conference halls, and Islamic library. Its natural and eco-friendly structure protects it from noise and pollution. The garden around the mosque and the fresh breeze from the sea also contribute to its natural beauty.

Fig. 2 Mosque in the Atlantic Ocean

King Hassan II selected this location to associate this place with God. As people visiting this place would be able to feel the nature. Through the ocean and sea, they would be able to think about the creator of the universe. In other words, it was an indirect invitation to God.

It is on the prominent piece of land. Its geography is the center of attention of many tourists and visitors. Its location at the shore is the most attractive and distinguishing feature.

It’s Financial Figures:

Morocco was the country of average income. The overall construction required a budget of 585 Euro. This budget of 585 million Euro was a greater amount for them. Hassan II sacrificed his wish of building the second greatest mosque after Mecca keeping in view the income of his country. The people of Morocco donated a lot to the project and received certificates as a reward. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and business establishment agencies also gave loans for construction.

Its Structure and Design:

Its structure involves traditional Moorish and Moroccan architectural style. It is also the reflection of modern art and innovations. It was also an exploration of new aesthetic possibilities. All these contributed to make it a perfect urban design monument. It has a collective capacity of accommodation for 105000 people at a time.

Fig. 3 The structure of the Hassan II Mosque

Its material includes plaster, marble, granite, wood and other enchanting material. White granite columns and 56 glass chandeliers were used for its adornment. The material used in its construction was taken from Moroccan and also borrowed from Italian. Other prominent features include horse arches, shining muqarnas, ornamented ceiling, and conspicuous columns.

It is a double story within semicircular shape facing mihrab and qibla wall. It has a heated floor and a sliding roof.

Mosaics:

The great traditional Moroccan artisans worked for 5 years to produce beautiful art pieces and calligraphies. They worked on different categories including painting the ceiling, carved woods, marble floors, and sculpted moldings.

Fig.4 The marvelous mosaics of the mosque

It’s Exterior:

The opening of the mosque was furnished with granite bronze and titanium. It consisted of zellig tile and sky-blue tile work. There is a capacity of 80,000 worshipers in its outer area.

Hassan II Mosque

fig. 5 The outside of Hassan II Mosque

Prayer hall:

Its central hall is on the ground floor. It is in a rectangular shape. It is 100-meter-wide and 200 meters long. It has three naves drawn at 90 degrees to qibla. It has an accommodation capacity of 25,000 people at a time. It is a heated hall providing a marvelous underwater view of Atlantic oceans. It was decorated through wood carvings, stucco molding and zellij work of beautiful art. Cedarwood, Agadir marble and Tafraoutian granite was also used for adornment.

Hassan II Mosque

Fig.6 The hall of Hassan II mosque

It has three naves; one is 40 meters while the remaining two are 27 meters high. These have many domes with glass chandeliers imported from Murano. The door of the hall is based on electrical technology. Its mezzanine floors have wood carvings furnishings. It had been reserved for women. Multi colored arches and floral designs are based on a geometrical framework. Its square pillars height is 13 meters. Marble bars were used for embellishing its gates. Different strategies were used for painting and carving to align them with Islamic art.

The architectures used the modern technology of retractable in its roof. It allows worshippers to offer to pray in natural sunlight and under the clear night. The weight of the gate is 1100 tons which requires five minutes to open. Further, cast-aluminum tiles were used for its decoration.

Minaret:

Its minaret is considered as the highest religious monument in the world.  It has a height of 210 meters orienting towards Mecca.  Its range is 30 kilometers. The top of the minaret has an electronic laser beam, which operates in the evening. The avenue was enchanted through its alignment. Austere and marble were used to enhance its exterior beauty. Its facade consists of stitches of Houdini trace time of green and chrome colors instead of bricks. The tiles color at the top of the minaret is green which changes deep green and turquoise blue continuously.

Hassan II Mosque

fig. 7 The greatest minaret of the world

The highly resistant concrete was used instead of ordinary concrete. This concrete has a world-best compression value of 1200 bar per sq.cm. Cranes were also built at it to make it appropriate for concerts.

The use of God’s blue and foam green color is figurative to relate it to the life of a king. It’s square shape and structure were cleverly designed by the science department of Bouygues. It protects it from weather conditions and seismicity.

Museum:

The Hassan II mosque also has a museum for people. It has various architectural remainders as painted wood ceilings, Zellij walls, and carved stucco. It also has traditional Moroccan art pieces. These enabled the visitors to get a better insight into its material and architecture.

Hassan II Mosque

Fig.8 The museum of the mosque

Structural Reforms:

In the early 2000s, approximately ten years after the inauguration of the mosque. Some deteriorations were observed. These structural deteriorations occurred due to the direct contact of concrete walls with the Atlantic Ocean. The salty water affected as half a portion of the mosque was in the water. The cracking of concrete walls occurred due to the invasion of water through rebar steel. The rusting of steel caused the expansion which directly cracked the walls.

In April 2005, restoration work for mosque started. A combination of high-grade concrete and moly- grade stainless steel was recommended as resistant. It would also decrease the attack of chloride in salt.

This restoration involved four stages to increase the building’s life up to 100 years. In the first stage a cofferdam was built at 5m below water level as leak proof. This dam would detach and dry the area for work. In the second stage, the filling of the gap in the prayer hall took place. In the third stage, the contact between the courtyard and sea was demolished. In it, slabs and pillars were destroyed to disconnect the mosque and sea. In the last stage, stainless steel rods and high standardized concrete were used for erosion resistance.

Wave breaking pillars (combs) were replaced by new pillars to reduce wave action and chloric effect. Many other structural changes were made along with the use of 2205 stainless steel reinforcements. The additional quantity of dry stack was used to reduce the water effect and cracking in the structure.

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