Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil graduated from Ain-Shams University in Cairo, where, from 1965 to 1970, he lectured in the Department of Architecture. El-Wakil has acknowledged the importance of Hassan Fathy to his design development. Since 1971 El-Wakil has been in private practice as an architect.
(Source: Architecture and Community: Building in the Islamic World Today. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Millerton, NY: Aperture. 1983.)
During the 1980's, the Egyptian architect Abdel Wahed El-Wakil designed over a dozen mosques in Saudi Arabia. While these mosques differ in size, formal composition, and sources of financing, they nonetheless are umted by a number of general characteristics. Firstly, they can all be referred to as revivalist structures. All draw heavily, and often very directly, on various historical prototypes belonging to the architectural heritage of the Islamic world.
All these mosques share strong similarities in the use of materials and construction technologies Their construction is based on the utilisation of load bearing brick walls, vaults and domes. Therefore, these structures are built of hollow baked bricks held together with mortar Most of the brick surfaces are covered with white plaster, and in some cases, with granite. However, the interior of the vaults and domes are generally left exposed, and are only coated with a layer of browinsh paint. As for reinforced concrete, its use is limited to specific elements, which include the foundations, lintels, and flat ceiling.
The Aziziah Mosque is one of four community mosques designed by El-Wakil in Jeddah. These medium size mosques are intended to accommodate between 1000 and 2000 worshippers. The mosque contains a highly compartmentalised plan. In it the men's prayer area, the women's prayer area, residences for the imam and muezzin, teaching areas, as well as ablution facilities, functionally are all separated from each other, but nonetheless united within an overall rectangular arrangement. The women's prayer area and the residences are located on the upper floor, while the remaining parts of the mosque are on the ground floor. From the outside, the mosque is treated in a somewhat simple manner. A small dome placed over the mihrab area accentuates the qibla façade. As for the western or entry façade, it is characterised by a pencil-shaped minaret on its left handside, a projecting ladies entrance on the right, and a main entrance superseded by a raised terrace in the middle. The interior of the mosque consists of a prayer area separated from the mosque's other facilities by an open passageway running along the site's east-west axis. The prayer hall is arranged according to a hypostyle plan consisting of six aisles arranged parallel to the qibla wall, and covered by pointed barrel vaults.