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Final touches now being sorted for Hazrat Bilal Centre

Wednesday 21 December 2016

It’s been a long journey for the Islami Darasgah community since back in July 2006 they gained permission to convert the then ‘Kearney’s Irish Bar’ into their new Centre. From structural collapse of the old building to detailed flood-proofing requirements and financial shortfalls it is only now that the project is approaching completion. Presumably the community will strongly request the removal of the remaining nearby billboard(s) overshadowing the windows on one side.

A report has been produced regarding any possible noise impact once the Centre is fully up and running. The weekday use is to be mainly for small prayer groups and an after-school session for a couple of dozen children to learn Arabic. On Fridays, the Muslim holy day, the main use will involve over 100 people attending the daytime Juma service- with an amplified sermon but no music. Alterations were made in the construction to minimize the impact on neighbouring dwellings. An environmental noise assessment by Mach Testing indicated the noise would be well within acceptable levels. The usage of the building would be from pre-dawn prayers to evening prayers up to 10pm. Some training and educational activities are also planned.

The most interesting final detail is that of the rooftop Minaret. It is designed by artist Peter Moorhouse, who has created various public artworks across Bristol including at Brandon Hill Park, Southmead Hospital and Bristol to Bath Cycle Path. It will be 3metres high and made of treated mild steel, hot zinc spray, 2 pac polyurethane paint and with integral lighting. It is laser cut to an Arabic geometric pattern.


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