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AFRICA

Chinese Contractors Completing Africa's Largest Mosque

CHINESE state-owned contractor China State Construction Engineering Corporation is currently putting the finishing touches to the world's third largest mosque in the Algerian capital of Algiers.

German practice KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten designed the mosque and were declared the winner of an international competition in 2008.

Construction started in 2012, employing some 2,300 construction workers, managers and engineers - a further 17,000 people were employed indirectly as subcontractors.

Above: The Great Mosque of Algiers under construction in 2018 (image courtesy of Xinhua).

The Great Mosque of Algiers is the largest building of its kind in the world, after the pilgrimage mosques in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. However, its 265-metre minaret is the tallest in the world.

Above: The main domed prayer hall will be able to accommodate 37,000 worshippers (image courtesy of CGTN).

The summit of the minaret will contain a museum, viewing platform and research centre. The mosque's 20,000 square metre prayer hall is designed to accommodate 37,000 worshippers at any one time with some 120,000 people expected to visit the building every day.

Above: The complex is expected to welcome 120,000 visitors a day (image courtesy of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten).

The whole complex comprises more than 400,000 square metres, including an adjacent park, public square, cultural centre, housing, a religious school, fire station and a library.

Construction is projected to cost an estimated USD $2 billion.

Above: The project also includes a park and culture facilities (image courtesy of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten).

Designed with environmental sustainability in mind, the mosque allows for natural cross-ventilation and features solar panels and a rainwater capture system.

As Algiers straddles two major tectonic plates, the building has been built to withstand a magnitude 9.0 earthquake.

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