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A modern mosque for men as well as women

The Ray of Light Mosque beckons you from afar. Its beautiful shape, gently curving, reflects the sunlight. It has a single minaret which is integrated in the flowing geometry.


The mosque's unusual design seeks to blur the edges between men and women at prayer. They are together in a single large space and yet they are still (metaphysically) separated, by the ray of sunlight that falls through the roof. 


The prayer hall is raised above an integrated landscape which houses the ablution (washing) areas, library, café and community centre, and a car park. A gently rising ramp leads believers past the ablution areas to the entrance, as a “path of purification”. Entrances to all other functions are on the sides and the back of the building, so as not to disturb this promenade.


The mosque incorporates its own library, set partly underground, to help the space stay cool. The reading room and the community centre are separated by a sunken courtyard, which allows hot air to rise during the day and draws in fresh air at night. Similarly, the ray of light glass, which can be opened electronically, allows for hot air to rise with natural ventilation.The building's shape is designed for maximum daytime reflection of sunlight and nighttime cooling. 


The mosque has not only been published in but was also selected as the cover for a monograph entitled Modern Mosques Design which is a 418-page e-monograph featuring modern and contemporary mosque designs from across the world designed by some of the world’s most renowned architects. The e-monograph is available through Kindle by Amazon and is separated into two volumes. To view the e-monograph, follow these links: (Volume 1) (Volume 2)


Architects: Co Govers, Joana Ramalhete

Models: Mil.limetrats

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Exploded view of the levels of the mosque complex

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Model photos

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Video interview with Co Govers and Joana Ramalhete of ZEST

This video was made for the "Design as Reform" exhibition at Traffic Art Gallery in Dubai.

It explains how we came to the concept of the Ray of Light and all the layers of meaning incorporated in this very spiritual project.

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