Abu Dhabi’s cultural landmark, Qasr Al Hosn’s Musalla Prayer Hall has won the first prize at the Architizer A+ Award, which is the world’s largest architectural awards program. The Musalla project was awarded the winning spot in the cultural category, triumphing over shortlisted competitors from Detroit, Lisbon and Beijing.
The Musalla is essentially a prayer hall and an architectural splendor that displays the beauty of the UAE’s heritage and traditions. “Al Hosn is a physical manifestation of the Emirate’s heritage and its link to the past. The Musalla, however, represents a wonderful symbol of the Emirate’s continuous cultural growth, and DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to both preserving the past whilst looking to the future,” said Saood Al Hosani, Acting Undersecretary of Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.
The Musalla is a series of interconnected buildings that form a cave-like structure. The prayer hall extends into the waters that surround the Al Hosn area. The Musallah’s placement in the water is not just functional but also symbolic; while the water creates a sense of peace inside the structure as it’s secluded from the hustle of the city, it also reflects on the spiritual aura of the prayer area.
This spiritual sight also celebrates the region’s heritage of stargazing for navigation, as the structure’s ceiling appears to be a nightsky with abstract star formations using circular openings and suspended pendant lights.
This prestigious A+ award won by the Musalla adds to the previous international award the structure has received when it won the first prize award in the category of ‘Completed Building – Religion’ at the World Architecture Festival 2019, held in Amsterdam last December. The unique and modern architecture of the Musalla aims at enhancing Abu Dhabi’s most culturally significant site while making the legacy of the Emirate accessible to the world.