Mosque at the International Airport - Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

A place of honour in the Sultanate

4,000 sq.m of Italian ceramic tiles installed in the mosque at Masjid Brunei Darussalam Airport, the prestige visiting card of a small, but extremely rich, country
Roberta Chionne
Pay Architects
Interior Designer
Kurusy Perundig e Jbpu
JE Enterprise Sdn Bhd
Year of completion

The Islamic Sultanate of Brunei occupies an oil- and natural gas-rich area of around 5,700 on the island of Borneo. In April 2015, the modern capital of this prosperous country saw the inauguration of a new mosque commissioned by the government to celebrate the expansion of the international airport. Rather then simply replacing the existing small mosque, it was intended as a symbolic landmark. Costing 3.26 million dollars, it was conceived as a separate building in the project launched in January 2014 with consulting provided by the local practice Pay Architects and the local distributor, JE Enterprise Sdn Bhd.
The magnificence of the mosque, which can accommodate 300 worshippers, is due not only to its size but also to the materials that are used. As the project is also intended to be viewed from above, this approach is evident in the visually striking full body porcelain floor tiles used in the external area, connected to the airport by a ramp to facilitate access for the disabled and visitors with luggage. The coloured tiles used in the forecourt (Landstone) and the two-colour ramp (Eternity and Landfusion) create an effect which is no less striking than that of natural stone. Another two-colour pathway in porcelain (Porfido) indicates the start of the route followed by the faithful on their way to prayer, leading under the arch of the white building to the right of the main entrance equipped with steel shelves for shoes. The interior features a series of rooms essential to the life of the mosque which, as in all Islamic countries, is not just a place for prayer but also a place in which to seek rest and shelter from the climate and to study. The flooring in the atrium, the corridors leading to the rooms and the garden is one of the most striking aesthetic components of the whole, with coloured decorations set against a pale background (Malaga, polished Giglio, Landstone charcoal on Landfusion beige). The rooms dedicated to the rite of purification stand out for the use of two strong colours, the bright blue of the glaze-tiled walls fitted with water basins contrasting with the warmth of the porcelain tiles (Malaga), the perfect choice for the floors in these ablution chambers.
In the prayer room, where the floors are covered with carpets and mats to symbolically separate the worshipper from the ground, porcelain tiles have been used for the walls, so that the tiles themselves (polished Giglio) diffuse the natural or artificial lighting. Modulated lighting is indeed one of the essential components of mosques, not just to create an atmosphere rich in symbolic meaning but also because this is the place where the faithful can study the Koran and where the first and last prayers take place before dawn and after dusk respectively.
The ceramic tiles used in the construction of this very prestigious mosque are all Italian-made (Cipa Gres).

Cipa Gres - Porfido, Eternity, Spagna, Land Fusion and Land Stone
porcelain stoneware
30x30, 30x60, 60x60 cm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,04%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 150 MM2
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 35N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
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