Distributed Architecture is a design and research practice led by Fabrizio Furiassi. The office is committed to delivering projects that bring equality, diversity and inclusion into the built environment. Each project mobilizes architecture as a complex system of relationships distributed through multiple scales and time frames.

Fabrizio Furiassi is an architect and PhD candidate at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Since 2010, he has collaborated internationally with architecture firms, cultural institutions and enlightened clients to disseminate critical design culture. Fabrizio holds master’s degrees from the Columbia University GSAPP and the University of Rome La Sapienza. He studied at the Moscow Architectural Institute and completed the postgraduate research program at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design. Fabrizio was shortlisted for the YTAA EU Mies Award / Fundació Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona, and for the Archiprix International / MIT in Cambridge. His works have been included in collective shows at the MAXXI Museum in Rome and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

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© Fabrizio Furiassi / Distributed Architecture 

Equal Mosque

In a suburban area with very few occasions of social gathering, the new Mosque near Preston, Lancashire, is conceived as both a unique religious landmark and platform for social encounters. Accessible to all and intended to become a meeting point for the entire community, the area is designed to function as a public park to encourage human relations and cultural exchange in a country, the UK, where historically the Muslim community is the singularly most victimized, scrutinized, demonized and marginalized.

In order to maximize the area dedicated to the park, the building develops its program vertically in respect of the Islamic tradition of juxtaposing functions in religious edifices. For the same reason, the parking is located underground and is connected to the entrance of the Mosque through a narrow excavated pathway. The building is constructed with local materials and is composed of two independent elements: a three-level timber structure accommodating the required functions, and a steel, glass and stone envelope regulating the interior light and temperature during the different seasons. The combination of these two elements—the container and the contained—aims to reflect a new approach to orientation in the design of mosques that expands the relationships between inner spaces, voids, enclosures, and the external landscape calling for the site to become the place of a vivid activity. In respect of the believers, the prayer hall is elevated to the highest floor of the building and remains separate, although in dialogue, with the other spaces available to either the Muslim and non-Muslim visitors. While featuring double amenities such as restrooms, ablutions, cloakroom and vertical connections, the interiors of this Mosque differ from the typical setting by allowing equal access to the different spaces for all, regardless of gender.

Client:        RIBA
Status:       Competition Entry
Program:   Religion | Park | Public Space 
April 2021

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