The Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) set up by the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCQB) to oversee the construction of the mosque on a five-acre plot in Dhannipur village in Sohawal tehsil of Ayodhya has appointed SM Akhtar, Dean of Faculty of Architecture at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), as the main architect of the project who will be leading a team of designers and architects to conceptualise and design the mosque and other facilities at the site.
Akhtar is the Professor & Founder Dean Faculty of Architecture & Ekistics at Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi. He has served four consecutive terms spanning over 12 years as Dean Faculty of Architecture & Ekistics. Akhtar is a man of multi-disciplinary background, his scope of studies spans over Architecture, Town Planning, Social Sciences and Environment. He is a graduate of The Indian Institute of Architect, a Post Graduate of the Institute of Town Planners India, with a Master Degree in Public Administration which covers Urban & Rural Environment Management, Sociology, Economics) and Bachelor’s degree in Law, and Ph.D. on Urban Housing. He is the first recipient of D.Litt. in Public Administration as well first Architect and Planner honoured with a D.Litt. degree. Apart from having numerous academic achievements, Akhtar has also done several architecture (some of them for JMI), landscaping and conservation projects. Notably he has done conservation and site development of six heritage monuments under Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (Govt. of NCT of Delhi).
Akhtar, who is from Lucknow, ruled out the possibility of designing the proposed mosque modelled on ancient or Mughal architecture. According to him, mosque will be designed in the Indo-Islamic style and aim to bridge communal differences. Other than the mosque, Akhtar will also design public utility establishments, including a hospital, an Indo-Islamic Research Centre, community kitchen and a museum. The mosque will come up on around 15,000 square feet land and have an amalgamation of Indo-Islamic architecture.