Person #3 thinks the mosque is too small and too low. He wants to put the whole building on a platform. He would then like to see a staircase in front of the entrance with 5 or 6 steps.
Person #4 thinks that the striped walls are a bit disturbing. He would rather see them plain white. White symbolizes purity and cleanliness, both concepts that relate to the function of a mosque. In addition he proposes golden domes.
Person #5 states that the building does not fit the urban landscape. All the other buildings in the centre of Eindhoven are high-rise and modern. The curves of the mosque are in stark contrast with the other surrounding angular buildings. Person #5 emphasizes that his opinion is not based on his view on the Islam. Christian churches don’t fit the urban landscape either, he says. Despite his critique on religious buildings within the urban landscape he would like to change the building using even more Islamic features and natural materials like marble. As the building is already there, he suggests turning it into an attraction. Therefore he proposes to remove the concrete blocks and plastic frames.
Person #6 thinks the building is ugly, and suggests removing it immediately.
Person #7 proposes to remove the gabled roofs made of glass. He thinks the building is too low and he would like to add an extra floor underneath. This floor should be given a commercial destination. A supermarket can than be established there. He prefers the Albert Heijn (typical Dutch supermarket) and in addition other stores could be opened as well. He would like to replace the concrete blocks by natural stone. The overhang construction above the entrance can be extended around the whole building and underneath the building he suggests to built an underground parking. A park with grass, plants and a waterfall could then replace the current parking lot in front of the mosque. He would like to replace the fence by a more decorative gate. All his ideas are inspired on the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Mosque in Beylikduzu, Istanbul. This is a newly built mosque that he visited last summer and it made a huge impression on him.
Person #8 thinks that the use of the different colours on the building gives it a chaotic appearance. She suggests replacing the brown stones by grey ones, to give the wall a more solid colour. Also the smaller school building should be uniform in colour. Therefore she would replace the red bricks by yellow ones. The domes she would like to keep intact because she assumes they have a religious meaning, a meaning unfamiliar to her.
Person #9 thinks the building is too low and would like to lift it up and place it on a plateau. He would also like to add a second minaret in correspondence with the mosques in Turkey. The parking lot does not offer enough space; therefore he would suggest an underground parking facility.
Person #10 thinks it’s a beautiful mosque. He was 14 years old when it was built. His father invested a sum of 1000 guilders. He does not want to change anything because the community took a share in realizing this building.
Person #11 does not like the building because it is located next to a busy crossroad. The building does not fit the area and therefore he would like it to be moved to another location. He suggests moving it to a quite place, so the community can continue their activities in seclusion.
Person #12 thinks the mosques in Istanbul are much more beautiful, but she likes the domes of this particular mosque. She suggests to replace the plastic frames by wooden ones and paint them beige or grey. The zinc roof is a bit too angular for her taste; she prefers a gentler curved alternative. She doesn’t like the gabled roofs of glass and would therefore remove them. She likes the mosque because of its central location. She doesn’t oppose the Islam and stresses that it is important to get people interact with the mosque in a positive way.
Person #13 thinks the building looks nice but he proposes to remove the minaret because he does not like the call for prayer.
Person #14 does not like the building. She calls it a community building with some domes on it. She would like to see the mosque to have more Arabic features instead. Therefore she proposes to give the building the colours of herbs: crimson, orange, moss green and ochre.
Person #15 doesn’t dare to make any suggestions.
Person #16 believes that there is no place for mosques in the Netherlands. They don’t fit the Dutch landscape. She finds it a bit too radical to suggest removing the whole building. Therefore she opts to get rid of all Islamic architectural features.
Person #17 appreciates the building because it suits its environment and it has a friendly appearance. According to him it would have been perfect if the roof and domes were red. But at the same time he doubts if things should be that perfect. He concludes that difference is good.
Person #18 thinks there is no place for a mosque in the Netherlands.
Person #19 thinks that the building should be bigger. In his view the mosque should be a bit higher with more surrounding space. In the old days the call for prayer was not amplified and the heigth of the minaret determined its scope. To make a reference to this tradition he would have liked to see a larger minaret, although he’s sure this wouldn’t be possible in the Netherlands due to all sorts of regulations.
Person #20 would like the building to be better lit at night. Spherical lighting should illuminate the domes and minaret. He prefers a warmer tone. In addition, he would also like to build a floor underneath the mosque. The building would make a bigger impact, which is good, he says, because now it’s too inconspicuous. On the ground floor several services can be provided like care and education. The boardroom and the house of the Imam would be there as well. He suggests demolishing the current day-care and doesn’t support the idea of a second minaret. Even though he thinks that the building should become more prominent, he also believes that the Turkish Muslim community should take a modest position. He proposes an underground parking garage and a park should then replace the current parking lot. He imagines himself sitting underneath a pergola. The vegetation should remain low. The current hedge surrounding the mosque is low in order to provide passers-by a good view on the building and the gate is always open. The mosque is a place to relax and everybody is welcome.
Person #2 believes the shape of the mosque is subordinate to the content. The main reason why he is visiting this particular mosque is because the imam preaches very well. In his view it is important that everyone feels welcome to visit it. The appearance of the building could be more inviting in his view. Therefore, he suggests to put lightboxes on the pillars placed next to both the entrance for women and the one for men. The lightboxes should depict Medina (the Mosque of the Prophet) and Mecca. A porch with an inscription could connect both of the pillars. The inscription should be: “Marhaba – Welcome”. He also would like to lower the hedge to give passers-by and local residents a better view on the building. He emphasizes that the proposed changes need to be realistic and inexpensive, so that the board of the mosque can actually take them into consideration. But if he allows himself to think without any restriction he would put the entire building on a plateau.
Person #3 thinks the building looks fine. He calls it a multi-functional centre with, among other things, a place for prayer. He lives next to it and the only thing that he would have liked to see is the use of similar colours as within the rest of the neighbourhood. Therefore he suggests giving the mosque green walls like his own housing block.
Person #4 does not recognize the building as a mosque. She suggests making the dome and minaret a bit higher. As the building is too geometric in her point of view, she opts to add some curves. For example she would like to see some small domes surrounding the big one.
Person #5 is satisfied with the appearance of the mosque. He only wants to make a practical proposal. He says that the prayer room for women is too small. He therefore proposes an expansion of the first floor on the left side of the entrance for men. This expansion needs to be supported by pillars. The men could meet and chat underneath it before and after the prayer and would function as a shelter when it rains.
Person #6 prefers not to have a mosque in her neighbourhood. The informal trade annoys her on Fridays. She tells us that ‘they’ sell vegetables, eggs, meat and fish from their cars. She also complains about the separation between men and women. She gets the impression that the Netherlands ended up in the year zero and therefore she feels like a stranger at home. Person # 6 thinks the building is ugly and proposes to demolish it. Though she would like to keep the minaret as a nice decorative element.
Person #7 would like to make the building white with some green elements. She thinks the minaret should be more like a tower and made from stone, similar to the ones in Morocco. Though she thinks the building should have a modern look, so it would suit the Dutch landscape better.
Person #8 thinks the building is not accessible enough. The building has an important function in the neighbourhood and therefore it should be more visible. He refers to the increase of Islamophobia caused by Geert Wilders. He thinks transparency could prevent further segregation. According to him society as a whole should become more transparent. Dutch citizens should learn how to live together. In his view the idea of an open society should be translated into architecture. He proposes to lower the hedge, enlarging first floor’s windows and a gallery with large windows on ground level.
Person #9 thinks the building is ugly. The grey colour is depressing and everything looks messy. She suggests giving the entire building another colour. She prefers yellow ochre. In her view the religious identity of the building should become more visible. She suggests adding mosaics.
Person #10 thinks the building looks very chaotic. She proposes to enlarge the dome and the minaret, because in her view religious buildings should reach out to the heaven. For all the walls she opts the use of yellow ochre bricks and brown horizontal lines.
Person #11 doesn’t like the building and is unhappy with the presence of a mosque in her neighbourhood. She informs us that the mosque has a bad reputation because of the former imam, who had radical fundamentalist ideas. Several years ago the mosque was in the news due to several problems. According to her the neighbourhood is deteriorating. People throw their junk on the street nowadays. She blames the community around the mosque for this behaviour. She does not want to change the building, but she would like to educate the users of the mosque how to behave in a more appropriate manner.
Person #12 thinks the mosque should be bigger. This is a practical proposal because many people come to the mosque on Fridays. He does not want to change the appearance of the building. Content is much more important than appearance, he says.
Person #13 thinks the building doesn’t look very nice, although he enjoys coming there every day. If he had the opportunity to change something, he would highlight the religious identity of the building. He would make the walls green and the dome and minaret white. In addition, he would replace the rectangular windows by arched windows and he would add handmade decorations like woodcarvings.
Person #14 states that a mosque doesn’t fit the Dutch landscape. He wants to demolish the building but complains that it’s unfortunately not up to him.
Person #15 thinks the building should be more recognizable as a mosque. Therefore he proposes to enlarge the dome and minaret.
Person #16 thinks it is a beautiful building but he would like to remove all functional elements like the air conditioning, fire escape, drainage pipes and wiring. These things give the building a messy appearance.
Person #17 would like to enlarge the building and replace all the rectangular windows by arched windows. He also imagines an arched gate at the entrance. Due to Dutch regulations the minaret and dome are not allowed to be any bigger. He expects that the regulations for the construction of mosques will be even stricter in the near future.
Person #18 would like to replace the mosque by a new apartment building. This complex must look modern. The building she proposes should look like the new apartments built in a nearby neighbourhood. In her opinion there are already too many mosques in Eindhoven. She complains that a lot of churches have been demolished. She thinks these churches are our cultural heritage and should be saved, instead of building more mosques.
Person #19 proposes to create a more coherent building. To achieve that he suggest transforming the mosque to a trapezoid shape building. The ground level should provide a substantial basis for a smaller first floor, followed by a smaller dome. For all walls, he suggests to use beige bricks. He would like to reduce the number of windows because the users of the building don’t need that much light. He would like to place the minaret on top of the dome.
Person #20 thinks the building is not very inviting. She suggests moving the entrance and minaret to the side of the parking place. This way it would be clear from a distance that it is a mosque. Also, she opts to remove the fence and hedge around the building. The mosque community is very closed in her opinion. She admits feeling a little anxious during the celebration of religious feasts because the men wear long robes and the women are often completely covered. In her view this can be threatening, especially in the dark. Therefore she proposes to illuminate the mosque at night. In addition she would like to replace the ugly blue emergency staircase by one made of stone.