Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nayhan Mosque,
Abu Dhabi, UAE

A project defined by light: the extraordinary building attaches special symbolic importance to light. With the Islamic religious calendar based on the lunar cycle, we looked to the moon as our source of inspiration and this became a unifying element in the lighting design.
Public Works Department
Interior Architects
Spatium Architects
Executive Architects
Halcrow Group
Allan Toft/ Lars Kirstein
Project Team
Jonathan Speirs, Keith Bradshaw, Carrie Donahue Bremner, Iain Ruxton, Philip Rose

Starting with a poetic look - the impression of a full moon with wisps of cloud moving across its face - as the lunar cycle progresses, so the building also alters in character.

It is bathed in cool white light at the full moon, shifting colour every two evenings, growing gradually bluer as the moon wanes.

On the fourteenth evening the mosque is lit in deepest blue to signify darkness - and yet the viewer is never able to perceive the building changing from one colour to the next.

We were approached to produce an entire lit vision for the project, inside and out, and the result we delivered provides the City with an extraordinary landmark impact, as well as deep cultural and religious sensitivity.”


Elegant, covered passageways, rich in details and able to provide sufficient light levels to pray and read.

Interior Areas

Welcoming, comfortable and able to host both informal and formal gatherings, the main prayer room is lit with an apparent effortlessness using concealed light. Light levels can be set to suit small teaching groups and for large televised, religious events.

Luminous vertical surfaces

Intricate backlit floor mosaics

Intricate backlit wall mosaics

The magic of this creation conceals an astounding amount of work, and exhibits a true appreciation of all nature's gifts on the part of the owner.”



Facade Test