“a Sphere in a Box” Mosque

 A Sphere in a Box Mosque: A common mistake of Architects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{jcomments on}StudiOZ designed a mosque in Kayseri Municipalityin memory of Sinan, the architect because historically, the Turkish mosque reached its highest potential under his design. Using a single dome placed upon a square form, Sinan created a metaphor of the mosque being the most stable form to symbolize  infinity.  Hundreds of years after Sinan, the mosque typology is still viewed as an indispensable component of Turkish life.   For the StudiOZ’s proposal, “The Mosque” criticizes this holy and public place by reforming benefits to urban space, symbolically and functionality of the building

 

The mosque creates a shell with a steel constructed pattern, based on the concept points to infinity/divinity.  A holy place to pray is nestled inside the large concrete sphere and the dome is actually large enough to gather the urban society together.

  

StudiOZdesigned a mosque in Kayseri Municipalityin memory of Sinan, the architect because historically, the Turkish mosque reached its highest potential under his design. Using a single dome placed upon a square form, Sinan created a metaphor of the mosque being the most stable form to symbolize  infinity.  Hundreds of years after Sinan, the mosque typology is still viewed as an indispensable component of Turkish life.   For the StudiOZ’s proposal, “The Mosque” criticizes this holy and public place by reforming benefits to urban space, symbolically and functionality of the building.

The mosque creates a shell with a steel constructed pattern, based on the concept points to infinity/divinity.  A holy place to pray is nestled inside the large concrete sphere and the dome is actually large enough to gather the urban society together.

“On the contrary to the meaning which refers to the meeting point of community,  it transforms into the meeting point of society and finds a place with its neutrality, purity and symbolically in the city within the reference of its history. It stands up for the prayer, not only with rituals but also by reaching the information, and transforms to contribute for the consciousness of society. Therefore it provides some place to reach necessities of today  besides traditional functions. While targeting to reach both of virtual and sensory information with library, providing the information passing between the generations via education in workshops as well. And with its exhibition space it presents the works to the community/society.”

     

      

        

        

          

           

Source: http://www.archdaily.com/56689/mosque-proposal-studioz/

 

Comments by Dr Mustapha Ben-Hamouche

The design is inspired from the typology of the domed mosque that itself goes back to the Hagia Sophia cathedral that was built during the pre-Islamic Byzantine period, 6th century AD. This type was developed by the famous Ottoman architect, Sinan Pasha. Al Sulaymaniee and Sultan Ahmet mosques, both  in Istanbul reflect such a model and mirror the highest level of maturity that Sinan Pasha reached in his professional life.

This model, in a way, was developed in negation to the old Umayyad type of mosques that relies on the pitched  roof and the intensive use of columns that dominated the early generation of mosques, especially in North Africa and Al-Andalus.

The works of  Mimar Sinan  teach us two main lessons in Islamic architecture.

The First lesson is that Islamic architecture is very interactive with the other types of architecture developed by Non-Muslims. Opposite to what some orientalists consider as a lack of originality and plagiarism, it shows the degree of absorption it has and openness to other civilizations. Such an absorption is however bound with the principles of Islam.

The second lesson is that the large dome at that time, given the technology of that period, responds perfectly to the need for a column-free and  wall-less space that allows good functionality. It permits continuity of rows of people standing side-by-side during prayer and insures direct visual and phonic link with the Imam during the speech and prayer times.

One common and major mistake of the architects in designing the prayer space, as is shown in the proposal of the Studio OZ,  is the use of the circle  or the  octagonal forms that clearly clash with the functional requirements of the prayer. A simple look at the way Muslim pray shows that the form should either be rectangular or square. Under the big dome of Sinan mosques there was always a square!

                          

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.