King Khalid Air Force Base: Mosque

Client: Royal Saudi Air Force
Project started: January 2015
Project type: Air Force, New Construction
Project size: ~780 square meters
Project location: King Khalid Air Force Base

Basic program requirements: Shoe Storage; Ablution; Sahn; Minaret; Minbar; Prayer Room; exterior fountain/water feature
Tasks: Construction documents; decorative screen design; Minbar design; dome design; interior design; some project management; coordination with engineers
Programs: Revit Architecture

Michael Baker International
500 Grant St #5400
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-269-6300

Michael Baker International partnered with Gilbane Building Company for a design build project at the King Khalid Air Force Base. The project, known as the King Khalid Training Center (KKTC), consisted of over 24 buildings – a mixture of renovations and new construction. New buildings included a Mosque, Student Center, Dining Facility, Dormitories, Maintenance Training Building, Avionics Pod Facility, Guard Booth/Entry Control Facility, and a Headquarters. Michael Baker’s services included architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, fire protection design, mechanical design, plumbing design, civil design and structural design.

The KKTC is a campus consisting of several distinct building types which function as a central training facility for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). The campus provides the facilities and support functions as required to provide complete maintenance training for the F-15SA aircraft. It was designed to a level of quality and aesthetic that is appropriate for its function and status. The architectural design closely adhered to the design intent indicated in the RFP.

I assisted the discipline lead with the design of a new single-story 780 square meter Mosque located near the center of the site and at the southwest edge of the KKTC’s main gathering space. This location provided a strong visual anchor and direct access from all other buildings on the campus. The minaret was designed to be located on the same axis as the KKTC campus entrance and the dome was designed to align with an axis that bisects the campus in the SW/NE direction, creating dramatic building-site relationships and dynamic views. The Mosque design included an open Sahn (outdoor gathering area) with a water wall feature surrounded by an Arcade, a Minaret (16 meters tall) anchored in the corner of the Arcade, an Ablution Space, Toilet Room, No-Shoe Area, Shoe Storage, and Prayer Room.

The main Prayer Room was designed to allow natural light into the space while maintaining a sense of privacy, as such the design included a raised circular clerestory with perimeter windows and translucent radial skylight. Over the skylight an open “gold finished” metal framework dome was designed, the presence of the dome served to help identify the Prayer Room area of the Mosque. The Qibla Wall of the Prayer Room was expressed as a projection facing Mecca and included an elevated Minbar for sermon delivery.

My responsibilities included the creation of the construction document set including detailing the entire building, design of the decorative screening system, design of the Minbar, some interior design, some project management, coordination with the engineers, and responding to government comments. All work was done under the supervision of a senior architect.