the vanishing mosque
RUX just won an international design competition to build a mosque in the UAE. Their concept of having an open space with the inside of the structure being the outside is nothing new, but to apply it to a mosque in such a dramatic way, utilising forced perspective to dramatise the vanishing point in a god-like manner, and to focus your entire vision towards Mecca, and the gigantic compass pointing the way is just so modern and stunning. Churches have long had the brand name architects’ touch to bring it to the new millennia and it is such a refreshing change to see the same forces shaping mosques in the same way.
What if a mosque was not a building? What if it vanished into the fabric of a city? Seamless with the streets, connected directly to the pulse of daily life, and open to anyone and everyone at anytime, The Vanishing Mosquebecomes more visible, more iconic, and more integral to the spiritual and cultural workings of a community than any building with doors and walls ever could.
This design strategy was created as a “developer’s tool” for integrating spiritual space within new urban developments in the Middle East. Superimposing the function of a mosque within an urban plaza maximizes the value of public spaces, increases the value of adjacent properties, and fosters a powerful sense of community for residents.
While the image of The Vanishing Mosque is new and seemingly unfamiliar, its driving design principles are inspired by those that have ruled mosque-building for centuries.