The winning design for a brand new mosque to be built close to a major motorway junction has been revealed.

Earlier in the year the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) launched a competition for a team of talented designers to create a brand new landmark place of worship on land close to the junction of the M55 and M6 at Preston.

The site, which has been cut off by the recent completion of the Broughton bypass alongside the junction of the M55 and M6, sits in a particularly prominent and elevated location.

Five shortlisted teams each received £4,000 and be invited to further develop their proposals following an open initial round requiring anonymous design concepts.

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RIBA said the intention of the competition is to produce a 'strong and bold design' that is clearly identifiable as a place of worship but not necessarily to the extent that it is dominated by the traditional Islamic designs.

And now, RIBA has revealed that London-based architectural practice LUCA POIAN FORMS has been announced as the winners of the international RIBA competition for the design of the new mosque in Preston.

Talented architects sought to create 'bold' designs for brand new Mosque in heart of Lancashire

A spokesperson for RIBA said: "The client was looking for a truly inspirational design to create a timeless landmark building on a site near to Preston city centre and visible from the surrounding area.

"The competition provided a unique opportunity to design a building which will become a proud part of Preston’s skyscape for many years to come.

"The international competition attracted over 200 entries from 40 different countries."

Five up-and-coming practices were shortlisted for the second phase:

  • BLANKPAGE Architects, Lebanon
  • Borough Architects + buchhandler-nelli + elca, Cambridge, UK
  • Mcheileh Studio, New York (Highly Commended by the Evaluation Panel)
  • TABE SHOURI, New York

A spokesperson for LUCA POIAN FORMS said: "Working on projects that will have a profound community impact is at the core of our ethos, as well as delivering uniquely iconic architechture that will stand the test of time.

"This competition was a truly unique opportunity to achieve both goals hand in hand, and we're looking forward to fostering a close relationship with our client as well as with other key community stakeholders to ensure the project is delivered to the highest standard.

"We are thankful for the opportunity and we look forward to carrying this project to fruition."

Back in July a council's planning committee recommended proposals to build the new Mosque be refused.

At a meeting of Preston City Council's planning committee, officers recommended the proposal be refused based on the grounds that the development is not the type of development deemed permissible in open countryside.

The site for the proposed Mosque is at the western end of D’Urton Lane on the northern edge of Preston close to junction 32 of the M55.

Planning officers stated that the land to be built on is located in the open countryside and the proposed development would be 'contrary to the hierarchy of locations for focussing growth and investment at urban, brownfield and allocated sites, within key service centres and other defined places'.

Plans to build new Mosque at junction of M6/M55 recommended for refusal by council

They also noted that it fails to accord with the management of growth and investment set out in the Central Lancashire Core Strategy.

However, a consultation on the proposals returned no objections from County Highways, Highways England and Waste Management, as well as Friends of the Guild Wheel.

United Utilities said the proposal was acceptable in principle however, there was not sufficient information on the detail of the drainage design, while Environmental Health recommended conditions requiring the submission of a noise impact assessment, details of hours of opening, electric vehicle charging points and a Construction Environmental Management Plan.

The proposals also received 427 letters of objection from the public, with 625 letters of support.

A new planning application will now be submitted to Preston City Council with details of the development and its proposed design.

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