equipo: PABLO CARBALLO + MARICRUZ ERRASTI + JUAN PABLO ACCOTTO + MAURO BARRIO + SIGFRIDO STIEGER + SOLEDAD PATIÑO + MONA GHANEM
lugar: DUBAI, EMIRATOS ARABES
AL-FATIHAH (The Opening)
The city of Dubai is undergoing a constant transformation process and the case of the Dubai Creek Harbour represents an opportunity to revitalize an area which is currently undeveloped and to re-think the ways of growth and relationships between institutions, temples and public spaces. The new mosque for the Dubai Creek Harbour is placed on the axis of a linear public park, considering it as a significate connective point between the Creek Tower, the Sanctuary Park and the Creek. Only then, from this urban perspective, we can guarantee that the mosque will function not only as a place of worship for the faithful, but also as an iconic element where tourism can be held simultaneously but always respecting the religious character of the place. To do this, the architectural proposal arises under the following assumptions:
· Pursuit of an image and identity that endows the Mosque with a singularity and contemporary look besides its religious basis.
· Interaction between public space and the worshipers space.
· Understanding the facades as a diaphanous element that covers the building from the outside but has also an imprint on the inner side.
· Generation of different indoors and outdoors worshiping situations.
· Utilize the terrace as an open prayer hall.
· Synthesis, tradition and contemporaneity.
Traditionally, mosques include components such as a central place to worship, the minaret, porch and a great empty space. Whilst some of these elements, like the minaret, had an active role in the past and now its role has become almost obsolete and turned it into something more ornamental than utilitarian, there are others that are still taking effect today. The intention of our proposal is to maintain these components but reinterpreted in a contemporary way, where the relationship between full and voids becomes more significate.
The entrance of the mosque is through a large massive and public atrium where different elements from the Islamic tradition such as geometry, colours, textures and nature are incorporated. The intermediate space from the traditional porches, becomes the services areas of the mosque –the cores– containing the toilets, ablution and administrative areas that support the main prayer hall whose volume is configured without any type of edges in the centre of the building. The minaret, meanwhile, emerges from a simple gesture of raising one end of the volume, directing it toward Mecca and generating an iconic character in the building.
The mosque can hold a total of 7500 worshipers inside and more of 2000 on the outside areas (both on the terrace and patio access). The main prayer hall, located on the ground floor, is intended for male cult and can be subdivided for a daily prayer into a third of its capacity or be fully utilized on Fridays. On the other hand, women have their separate prayer space on the first floor of the mosque but are visually and spatially connected with the main prayer hall below.
2. URBAN CONTEXT AND POSITIONING
The mosque is placed above the linear park, understanding that the mosque is a connective point between the Creek Tower and Sanctuary Park. Hence, a connection between public and private is generated in order to turn the path into a smoothly journey through a series of covered and non-covered spaces with visual connections between the tower and the park. Having the volume flying over the axis, also allows that the intermediate spaces are protected from the high temperatures of the deserts by casting shadows to a large urban oasis.
Geometries have always had a strong presence in the Islamic tradition, and they are not only present in the flooring and building facades of this new mosque but also represented a key factor in shaping the main prayer hall. Utilizing an ellipse as a central element, arises from the premise of eliminating any type of strong edge that could affect the fluidity of movement and because its longer side can be oriented perpendicular to the Mecca, optimizing the prayer hall area.
The mosque can be accessed from many points, but the idea of a central axis leading to the prayer space is maintained. It depends on the character of the user what will determinate either you follow your way to the park/tower or worship. This pedestrian street, has been carried out following the lines from Tower Creek Square on the pavement towards the Sanctuary Park.
3. MATERIALITY AND TECHNOLOGY
The mosque is materialized utilizing a marble-like stone, understanding the whole building as a big stone susceptible of being sculpted, that generates a dynamic play between lights and shadows, claro-oscuros and full and voids. Facades represent (not figuratively) the surahs present in the Koran, understanding the mosque as an opening to the Islamic world. The main prayers hall’s façade is realized with a double layered skin that regulates the visuals into the worship areas and allows lighting and a 360º view of the mosque, the courtyards, the linear park, the Creek Tower, the Sanctuary Park and the skyline of Dubai.
Structurally, the proposal is resolved by using a set of large supporting legs, holding the flying volume and containing all the technical elements and services necessary for the operation of the mosque. The terrace, or open prayer space, can be accessed through staircases located on the side of the perforated walls and through a core of elevators.
The leading aim of this proposal is to add value to the prayer space from its relationship with the public space but still keeping its religious character as a temple. Its positioning and materialization give openness to what has traditionally been built as something massive and closed, which turn this typology into a more contemporary mosque.