Great feat by Al Musalla at Al Hosn; Bags Prestigious A+ Architizer Award

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Qasr_Al_Hosn, Abu Dhabi
Representational Image

Abu Dhabi’s iconic Musalla (Mosque section ) of Al Hosn, a historical landmark and the oldest stone building in the city of the emirate has been awarded the first price in the Internal Design and Creative Ceilings category of the international architecture A+ Architizer Award.

One of the largest architecture awards programs in the world, Architizer A+Awards is organized by, a global online community of architects.

The award which focuses on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture features thousands of contestants every year with more than 400 million visitors to its website.

The winners for the 2020 edition were selected by a panel of expert judges and rated on parameters that included harnessing cutting-edge approaches, material and technologies to build safer, cleaner and more resilient spaces for generations to come.

Designed by architecture firm CEBRA and developed by the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi, The Musalla project overcame strong competition from the likes of  Detroit in the US, Lisbon in Portugal, as well as Beijing and Hefei in China to bag the coveted prize.

“The Musalla at Al Hosn site has already received global recognition for its creative design, and this latest award from the prestigious Architizer Award further validates DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to excellence in our initiatives,” said Saood Al Hosani, acting undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi.

The Musalla’s interior design was the deal breaker for the judges, with its suspended ceiling with circular openings punctuating the otherwise closed spaces as skylights. Combined with pendant lights, they appear as abstract star formations that evoke associations to the region’s heritage of stargazing for navigation.

Al Musalla at Al Hosn

Built in 2018, the religious building was an important component in the revitalization of the Al Hosn heritage site. Located adjacent to a public park, The Musalla’s prayer hall consists of a series of small-interconnected buildings that form a cave-like structure that is partially embedded into the park’s water feature. The water creates a natural privacy barrier to the park, creating secluded spaces for worship, but also serves as a symbol of spiritual purification.