Al Akbar Mosque: The Beautiful and The Biggest Mosque in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia

Al Akbar Mosque was built on land covering 11.2 hectares, constitutes of 28.509 sqm building with capacity of 28.509 sqm. This mosque was projected to embodied concept of mosque in a universal meaning, as Islamic center for multidimension roles with religious, cultural, educative mission, including religious attraction, to develop Islam world. This mosque is another landmark of Surabaya and symbolically enriching Moslem world, and to beautify Surabaya image for foreign countries.

The Mosque was constructed as initiated by Surabaya city mayor, Mr Soenarto Soemoprawiro. The official construction was officially started by vice president Tri Sutrisno in August 1995, and the real construction was started in September 1996. On 10th November 2000, the mosque was officially opened by President Abdurrahman Wahid.

The land of the mosque was the property of Surabaya Govt. The architecture was designed by Tim Institut Teknologi Surabaya (Tim ITS) with experienced consultants of mosques constructions in Indonesia or abroad. The construction sequence started with assessing the carrying capacity of the land and Mecca direction that were attended by Religion Departmet and other organizations.

To build this mosque, Transportation Department recommended to open new toll read toward mosque to transport heavy equipments that was impossible using access of settlements street. As the ground was labile with minimum compactness, the base was made in paku bumi or deep-base by setting pillars. There was a shortage of pillars that should be supplied from Central Java. It took 2000 pillars for this mosque, and the base construction took 3 months.

The floor was designed 3 meters high from the surface, so the 3 meters space should be filled in. But later the space was constructed as basement, and the floor above the basement was supported by pillars applying floating floor system.

The floor was made of concrete precast, consists of plate of 3×3 meters and 15 cm thick. The floor could be finished in 3 months. The column took 3 months to finish. Column shape is round diameter 110 cm, 70 cm and 60 cm and the basement column was dominated by 40 cm columns. As the column would be visible when the building finish, so the position and aesthetically was carefully considered.

The floor structure was prepared, ring balk with vierendeel system that connects 20 meters high column structure on the first floor. This ring balk stretches 30 meters without column, that the floor plain is not divided by any column or partition. The dome structure is made by space frame, using steel-iron using chremona system or connected triangle stricture.  The dome is 54 x 54 meters, without any pillars supporting. The weight of the dome is 200 tons. The dome is supported by half-egg dome with 1.5 layer and 27 meters high. The dome is axed on the pyramid roof with 2 layers and 11 meters high.

This mosque has 45 doors, each have 2 doors. Each of the doors is 1.5 meters wide and 4.5 meters high. The doors are made of teak wood, and made by Surabaya carpenters. The doors are made of teak. The marble was transported from Lampung. Calligraphy is an important element in this mosque, as it gives Islam nuance. The teak calligraphy is finished with deco painting system. The calligraphy designer is Mr Faiz from Bangil, East Java.  The podium is 3 meters high with Madurese ethnical ornament engraved by Madurese carvers. The original design, the mosque had 6 towers, but for financial reason, only one tower built. The tower was constructed using slip form technology from Singapore and it takes 2 months for casting process. The tower is 99 high and the top is equipped with viewing room on the height of 68 meters with 30 people capacity and a lift was built to access the top.