The MCG Multi-Faith Prayer Room is open to all patrons.Located on Level B1 of the Shane Warne Stand (at approximately M13), the room is able to cater for more than 50 patrons at one time, and is suitable for patrons of all faiths including Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu.
Replacing a previous smaller space in the Ponsford Stand, the new Multi-Faith Prayer Room is accessible for all patrons from across the stadium, regardless of where they are seated.
The 100-square metre facility has the ability to separate males and females – with an obscured visual screen to remove acoustic separation – between the two and clear floor space, with shoe racks, for physical prayer and to accommodate differing faith requirements.
With architecture and design led by Desypher’s Issam Nabulsi, the Multi-Faith Prayer Room’s layout is non-descript and free of identifiable references to a specific single faith.
The bathrooms of the Multi-Faith Prayer Room have wudu units installed to enable users of the Muslim faith to practice ablution prior to prayer in the immediate space where prayer will be undertaken. The bathrooms cater for both males and females.
The prayer areas of the facility are able to accommodate Muslim worshippers individually or in groups and orientated towards Ka’abah (more commonly known as Makkah, in current day Saudi Arabia). The space simultaneously meets the spatial and eastward orientation requirements of proponents of the Jewish and Hindu faiths.
The Multi-Faith Prayer Room is also multi-purpose to its occupants, with the provision of fixed and loose seating in the prayer space, an austere yet spiritual treatment of interior of prayer space and acoustic insulation to dampen noise that would interfere with prayer from the rest of the stadium.
All building materials have been sourced throughout Melbourne and Victoria, with the facility’s design elements reflecting the unique and iconic foundations of the MCG. The Prayer Room’s roof design is to reflect the stepped underside of the stadium’s seating bowl, while the carpet selection is reminiscent of the hallowed turf.
The project undertook discussion and direction with a range of external consultancy groups to ensure the non-committal approach, including the Jewish Christian and Muslim Association (JMCA), the Hindu Council of Australia and MCC Community Partner, the Bachar Houli Foundation.