The Penang State Mosque or Masjid Negeri Pulau Pinang, is the biggest mosque in Penang. It is located at the junction of Jalan Air Itam and Jalan Masjid Negeri. When I originally wrote this, I thought that it was designed by the great Brazillian architect, Oscar Niemeyer, who passed away on 5 December 2012, just ten days from his 105th birthday. (Niemeyer was the architect who designed the Brazilian national cathedral in Brasilia, Brazil, among with many of the buildings in the Brazilian capital city. In recognition with its architecture, UNESCO inscribed Brasília as a World Heritage Site in 1987.)
The Penang State Mosque was constructed in the 1970s, bearing Western Modernist as well as Malay elements in the design. I learned that, contrary to my initial thought, it was not the work of Niemeyer, but rather a Filipino architect by the name of Efren Brindez Paz. Occupying a 4.6-hectare site, the state mosque took four years to build, and can accommodate 5,000 worshippers at one sitting, making it the biggest mosque in the state.