Alkaff Mosque at Upper Serangoon

Its restoration gained national monument status in December 2014 and also picked up URA’s Architectural Heritage Award in October 2015.  It is the 2nd mosque in Singapore to win the award in the programme’s 21-year history.

Design Strategies

The design brief set by the Client called for the expansion of the prayer area and the construction of classrooms to meet the mosque’s religious education programme.

The triangle-liked shape of the site with the narrow side as the front, posed a great challenge to the planning of the site.  The only way to expand the prayer hall was to extend the mosque was on the sides with a new structural system that is self-supporting and abutting the existing structures without imposing additional load. The result:  A new lofty extension that brings daylight to the dark shaded interior of the Musollah, taking on a totally contemporary identity as a response of time without overshadowing the architectural style of the conserved building.

Great attention was spent on detailing, lighting and integration of the interior with the architecture:

  • A series of ramps is cleverly integrated with ablution spaces and landscaping serves also as a “Barrier-free Access” for the disabled.
  • Coffered ceiling with appropriately selected pendant light fittings gives a nostalgic atmosphere that complements the series of Neo-classical columns and arches.
  • Specially designed motif on the carpet, inspired by the acronym of the Mosque’s name, covers the Musollah, defining the rows of prayer spaces.
  • Storage shelves to house Qurans were designed as a series of walls to enclose the Musollah. Shoe racks, designed to integrate into the walls, lines along one side of the entrance into the mosque.

It stayed true to the vision of the original architect by reinstating its pyramidal roof, fixing its decorative archways, and re-installing its original decorative cast-iron grilles and balustrades . . . The mosque did all this on a modest budget. It’d like stepping into Morocco. It is both airy and beautiful.

ST October 15th, 2015


Shing Design Atelier Pte Ltd 2015.
A Singapore Web Design by Crave Tech.