The modern 12,000-square meter Islamic Religious Cultural Center, located near the city center of Ljubljana, Slovenia, serves the needs of the Islamic community around the capitol city. The Ljubljana complex includes a mosque with its 40-meter-tall minaret, several buildings for education, offices and residential units, underground garage, restaurant and sports hall.
The opening of the cultural center is significant, as this is the first mosque to open in Slovenia. Construction began in 2013 and was completed in February 2020 at a cost of approximately €34 million with the majority of funds from Qatari donations. Situated in a semi-industrial area of Ljubljana, the mosque serves up to 1,500 people and constitutes the core of the six-building cultural center, which is open to all Muslim and non-Muslim visitors.
All the buildings are made from white concrete combined with steel, glass and wood. A large blue textile dome is suspended within the mosque’s interior, providing a light-infused blue representation of heaven and is reminiscent of famous mosques like Istanbul’s Blue Mosque.
“We wanted to link traditional Islamic architecture values with contemporary architecture,” said architect Matěj Bevk of Bevk Perović Arhitekti, adding that the cultural center’s glass facades were meant to show its transparency and openness. With its design and peaceful splendor, the site’s garden also serves as a nod to traditional mosques.
Slovenian distributor, Lorex, already had a previous relationship with the leader of the Islamic faith in Slovenia. “When it was determined that the project would move forward, we reached out to the Islamic community’s secretary general, Mr. Nevzet Porić,” stated Dušan Osojnik, owner of Lorex. “We also proactively reached out to our colleagues in Bosnia and other neighboring countries to learn what sound system solutions were being used in other mosques.”
After hearing several recommendations of Bose audio solutions, the mosque planning committee decided a Bose Professional sound system would provide the perfect solution to complete the project. Given the special audio requirements of the mosque — including call to prayer and managing how sound would behave within the open space — it took time to ensure the architects could incorporate the audio solution needed without making any architectural compromises. This was key given the design of the building and its extensive use of hard-surface materials.
After two years of planning and designing, the plan would incorporate the mosque’s audio solution within the cultural center’s systems while serving a variety of needs for both now and in the future.
The Panaray MA12 modular columnar array loudspeakers proved to be the best solution for both audio quality and coverage, as well as integrating smoothly into the design aesthetic.
It was important that the loudspeakers were mounted into the wall niches, yet not lose any acoustic performance nor inhibit the equal dispersion of audio throughout the main prayer hall. The prayer hall has a dome height of 24 meters and the minaret tower is 40 meters tall, which is used to call the faithful five times daily.
A variety of FreeSpace in-ceiling loudspeakers provided excellent background audio and speech intelligibility throughout areas outside the main prayer hall.
Specific to the minaret, the FreeSpace surface-mount loudspeakers were selected for their superior audio quality and coverage. Installed facing slightly downward, the enhanced audio range is controlled so the calls to prayer are broadcast only within the cultural center itself, limiting the impact on the surrounding non-Muslim community.
The changes to the Islamic Religious Cultural Center provided new spaces for the community to gather and live. With the new Bose Professional audio system in place, there is now perfect speech intelligibility throughout the mosque area, providing exactly what was needed and exceeding all community members’ expectations.