The Mosque of the Light is designed as a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional elements of Arab vernacular architecture. The design addresses sustainable aspects while maintaining historical cultural continuity and defines a space of social interaction. The skin of the building develops as a mechanism that regulates the natural light and creates interior spaces with filtered light - an effect often used in Islamic architecture with its climate-oriented strategies.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The light steel structure and the array of fabrics exchange their properties, creating semi-open / semi-closed spaces, while accentuating the interplay of light and shadow. The curtains that are used in lieu of walls subdivide the vast space and underline the human scale, as their light and tactile nature responds to the circulation of people between them. At night, the translucent nature of the fabrics gives the building a strong presence by illuminating a soft glow to the surroundings.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The layering of textiles defines the gradual transition from exterior to interior. The undulations of fabrics create a changing rhythmical pattern enhanced by the continuous play of light and shadow that changes throughout the day. Interior is flooded with filtered sunlight that celebrates the patterns of everyday human rituals.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Mosque of the Light is the grand prize winning entry of the Future of Shade International Competition 2015 organised by Sunbrella New York.
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PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
A flexible building framework that can be easily assembled forms the main structure. On this simple structural steel framing, series of fabric elements are hanged in order to define the interior space. Fabrics are distributed following a specific modulation and are used not only as cladding material but also as spatial organization elements, as they allow for the powerful plasticity of the design while responding to specific functional demands.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The cooling pond around the mosque, utilizes grey water from the surrounding buildings. An embedded sprinkler system uses the grey water in order to moist the fabrics on the perimeter of the building envelope. The gaps between the curtains allow for the air to circulate and through the resulting evaporation they cool the space, enhancing the natural ventilation while taking advantage of the Sunbrella fabric breathability and mildew resistance.
sustainable, wind, water, fabric, light
The inspiration for The Mosque of Light came from the light fabric structures erected in public spaces of Dubai, such as the tents on the souq market. The design process was based on the evaluation of the fabric possibilities in relation to the local climate. The overall arrangement establishes a rhythm that is highlighting the unique textile texture. It gives to the form its essence and exposes the character of the internal volume.
Durability of Sunbrella fabric was taken into account, as it is necessary against the intensity of the local sunlight. Overall arrangement works as a vertical louver composition that provides shade and glare protection against the harsh sun and also animates the elevation with the breeze. The challenge was to provide a visual rhythm in relation to the building's structure that results to a pleasant, spacious, cool and shady environment.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
All images belong to Nikolaos Karintzaidis.