‘There is a minaret in the concept, it should serve as a beacon for believers and be a brand identity of Kazan’

It is planned to create an Islamic educational centre on the territory of the Cathedral Mosque in Kazan

‘There is a minaret in the concept, it should serve as a beacon for believers and be a brand identity of Kazan’
Photo: a realnoevremya.ru screenshot

Moscow architects Alexander Tsimailo and Nikolai Lyashenko presented the project of the Cathedral Mosque to religious figures of Tatarstan, during the presentation the issues of the place and the concept of the religious building were discussed. Of course, not without complaints: for example, the mufti of the republic, Kamil khazrat Samigullin, was dissatisfied with that there was no mihrab, minbar and crescent in the project. They asked the designers to pay attention to the development of the territory around the temple. In a conversation with Realnoe Vremya, Lyashenko summed up the results of communication with spiritual leaders and told how the mosque could change. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

“The opening of the Cathedral Mosque is going to become a landmark event in the world”

The meeting of the founders of the architectural bureau Tsimailo Lyashenko and Partners with the leaders of the Tatarstan clergy took place on the eve of Eid al-Adha, June 27. The religious figures supported the idea of building the Cathedral mosque in the Admiralteyskaya Sloboda. However, one of the key claims of Kamil Samigullin was that from the Sharia point of view, it is unacceptable to liken the Kaaba in the construction of religious objects. He asked the architects to reflect more Islamic traditions and Tatar cultural identity in their project. Despite the claims made, Nikolai Lyashenko stressed that communication with representatives of the Muslim Spiritual Board of Tatarstan was fruitful for the architects.

“The opening of the Cathedral Mosque should become a landmark event in the world, not only in the life of Kazan and Tatarstan. The creation of the temple is dedicated to the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria. The questions from religious figures were very interesting, as were the ideas they expressed. It seemed important to us that the clergy saw the right prospects for the development of the city, not only for the mosque itself, but also for the place. Its transfer to the Admiralty settlement will give a new impetus to the entire environment of the district. This is going to become a new point of attraction," the interlocutor of the publication is sure.

a realnoevremya.ru screenshot

The architect added: at the meeting, it was decided to create a working group, which will include representatives of the MSB. Their specialists are to help the designers to make sure that in the future the mosque is properly operated and meets all the requirements of the clergy. Lyashenko stressed that such agreement was assumed in advance, even at the stage of creating the project.

“At the meeting, after all, there was a presentation of the idea, not a final concept. We presented the ideology of the new mosque, which boils down to that there is a dome located inside and 'seen' from different points. 'There is a minaret in the concept, it should serve as a beacon for believers and be a brand identity of Kazan," Lyashenko explained.

It is planned to create an Islamic educational centre on the territory of the Cathedral Mosque

According to the architect, during the presentation they proposed to create an Islamic educational centre on the territory of the Cathedral Mosque. It should be of a religious nature. The project also provides for the creation of parking lots. Nikolai Lyashenko stressed that the entire structure of the city's development will be based on that a park will be created on the site of the riverbed, which will connect with the embankment.

“All this will be within walking distance. It was these moments that were spoken out, and, as it seemed to us, religious figures supported them," the creator of the project spoke out.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Dmitry Reznov (archive)

Besides, he commented on the questions of representatives of the clergy about the absence of a crescent moon in their project. As the interlocutor says, this is just a conversation on the topic of identification of Tatarstan. Lyashenko stressed that when finalising the project of the Cathedral Mosque, they will provide for this moment. After all, it is necessary to make the object perceived as a mosque, not a cultural centre.

“The concept of the Cathedral Mosque should be interpreted as an idea for now”

The architect assured that the project of the cathedral will be finalised. The purpose of the meeting with the clergy was to present a new place for the construction. Lyashenko says: at the moment, the concept of the Cathedral Mosque needs to be interpreted as an idea that will be worked out at many stages. Subsequently, it should develop into a full-fledged and thoughtful project.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru (archive)

As for the place presented by Tsimailo and Lyashenko in the Admiralteyskaya Sloboda, they showed religious figures a new ideology for the development of this area. The architect stressed that they see the development potential of the entire territory.

“Before the decision to build the Cathedral Mosque in the Admiralteyskaya Sloboda, there was no “place of power” that would have prompted this place to change. And when the cathedral appears there, then, according to the domino principle, this will entail significant changes in both residential areas and the creation of new infrastructure. Therefore, we hope for very close communication with the Kazan Architecture Department and with the architectural community of the city, because they know the area better from the inside. We can just give some recommendations on how we see the development of the Admiralteyskaya Sloboda," concluded Nikolai Lyashenko.

What will be the mosque conceived by the architects from Moscow?

So, what kind of project was presented by Tsimailo and Lyashenko. According to their vision, the main building of the Cathedral Mosque will be in the shape of a cube. A prayer hall with a white dome is integrated into it. The museum of the history of the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria will be located along the perimeter of the cathedral. The dome will be made of reflective material. According to the idea, the mosque will be visible both from the Volga and from the city.

It is also planned to create an observation deck on the minaret of the temple, it is also seen as a lighthouse — as a symbol showing believers the way.

Let us remind that the new building should become a symbol of religion in the country and its modern sign — this status determined the architectural concept. The prototype of the mosque is the main Muslim shrine — the Kaaba. The mosque stands on the water, connecting to the bank of the Volga with the help of a public square. The building is a black cube, in the centre of which there is a prayer hall. The shape of the dome is a reference to the location of the worshippers around the Kaaba.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Dmitry Reznov (archive)

We should add that initially the construction of the Cathedral Mosque was planned on the territory of Kyrlay park. But it was decided to abandon this idea because of the dissatisfaction of the townspeople and architects. The transfer of the facility was also affected by high groundwater. Although, we should note, all this did not prevent the laying of the stone on the territory of the demolished park. Now, in its place, it is planned to put the square of the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria.

Artur Kazantsev

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