Basma Abdallah Uraiqat is an architect and a specialist in architectural theory. She holds a Master’s degree in Architectural Theory and Design from the University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Jordan. She is a co-founder of Uraiqat Architects, an architecture and interior design firm where she holds the position of Design Manager. Basma is also a co-founder of Atelier Uraiqat, an experimental design studio that integrates art, design, critical theory and technology.
In addition to her work in design and practice she is also involved with academia through lectures, workshops, and student affiliations with the German-Jordanian University, Columbia Middle East Research Centre, and other local universities. She has also published writings in several local and regional publications in the fields of architecture, design, theory, philosophy and culture. Her work explores architecture, philosophy, and art to develop a unique approach to architecture and design that reflects identities and contemporary influences.
Basma’s work in architecture and design was exhibited in a number of exhibitions in Amman, London, Basel, Dubai, Doha, Manama and Beirut. She has also won several awards for her excellence in architecture including the Benoy Prize for Best Master’s Portfolio.
"Throughout history, architecture and design have been the ultimate expression of the human condition in time. It is a manifestation of the physical, environmental, cultural, and political needs of a society. I am constantly reminded of this throughout my work, and that is why I adopt a method that is rooted in the spirit of my age that is based on change, difference, and temporality.
My work is described as parametric, and that is far beyond the stylistic and formative meaning of the word. It is parametric in that it is responsive to the parameters and forces that influence the work. These range from the direct forces of clients, sites, and environments to the more fluid forces of culture, society, and technology. This responsiveness requires the process to be multidisciplinary; integrating materials, form, sociology, philosophy, and contemporary technology.
I see my work as a continuous process of production - production of meaning, space, method, and technique. And it is an endless journey of exploration of the potentials that lie at the limits of the physical and the intellectual. "
Al Rawda Mosque
which was inaugurated in September 2011 during the month of Ramadan, is located
in the area of Badr Al Jadeeda in Amman. The project sits on a flat land at an
intersection of three roads in a quiet neighborhood of local style residential
buildings among hills of greenery. The main challenge of the design was to
explore new possibilities of the Mosque typology yet maintaining the identity
and spirituality of such an influential building. The work included the design
of all aspects including architecture, interior design, furniture, woodworks,
carpets, door handles, and all other items. This played a major role in
implementing the concept on all elements in the project and carrying it to its
Upon entering the Mosque the user is met with a roofed porch that
has a verse of the Quran written in relief on the Ajloun stone front edge of
the canopy, and a patterned steel structure to the left that is bottomed with a
planter and topped with an opening to the sky to allow plants to climb on the
structure and penetrate the canopy to the light. The passageway to the right
leads to the ablution areas and is separated from the main street with a
two-story high wall that is made with a pattern of glass reinforced concrete.
This wall conceals the service area and shoe racks and at the same time allows
light to penetrate and play on the stone with its shadows and patterns. The
pattern used in these structures is a re-adaptation of a Seljuq pattern from
the eastern Islamic lands. It was chosen for its uniqueness and geometric
complexity and interest.
The main door of the Mosque is an impressive four-meter high solid
walnut wood door with a pattern engraved on it. It leads to a yet more
fascinating space in the main prayer hall, which is a linear space directed
towards Mecca with a suspended wooden perforated partition separating the
women’s hall in the mezzanine, providing privacy yet maintaining engagement
with the spirit of the Mosque.
The concept of the building is to sculpt a contemporary spiritual
space using light as the main tool in a minimal architectural language. The
masses and openings are designed to respond to natural light throughout the day
from the various angles and shapes of the windows. The large eastern glass
façade of the main hall is paralleled with a six-meter high freestanding
patterned wall that filters the morning light and allows it to penetrate the
interior space forming a variety of patterns on the floors and emphasizing the
Qoranic verses inscribed on the walls. This light changes direction and shape
with the change of sun angle until at noon it reaches the thin long strip of
glass above the Karaki stone Mihrab, which is a Jordanian stone that is known
for its deep grey color and unique patterns. The light also emphasizes the
calligraphed Qoranic verses that are written in relief on the upper
circumference of the space and reflects on the patterned ceiling and the
five-meter dome exposing its multiple levels and depth. In the afternoon and at
the time of the sunset prayer, the light penetrates from the western end
through the long perforated wooden Minbar to again draw patterns of different
scales and shapes on the simple carpeted blue floor also designed by the
Atelier using simple Islamic patterns.
These effects are reversed at night when the interior lighting
starts to penetrate the facades to the outside and reflect the same patterns on
the outer surfaces and pathways extending the atmosphere to the surrounding
areas. This play of light, mass, and material is a modernization of the
traditional Islamic art to create a three dimensional sculptural quality of
space. This is further enhanced on the outside with the sculpted crescent on
top of the dome that was designed as three perforated steel crescents that
intersect in a three dimensional manner and creates an interesting effect of
light and shadows and gives a different perspective depending on the location
of the viewer. The minaret is also a freestanding structure that ends with a
GRC pattern that fades into the sky and creates an effect of verticality and
This Mosque is a combination of complexity and simplicity in the
way that complex patterns and elements are all combined in a minimal space to
allow light to enhance the spirituality of the space through its sculptural
quality and to create a variety of atmospheres. It is an interactive space that
connects with its users creating an architecture of light, tradition, and the