Muslim scriptures are laconic on mosque design. The holy building must only face Mecca and be “guarded from enemies”. That gives a free hand to experimental architects and adventurous clergy. In Albania’s capital, Tirana, BIG, a Danish architectural firm, is erecting a mosque with walls like breaking waves. Their clever geometry helps it face Mecca—inconveniently askew from the city’s north-south grid layout. — economist.com
The larger irony is that in calling for a huge new mosque in the tradition of Sinan, Erdoğan may be missing the more fundamental lesson of the Ottoman architect’s work. As Bruno Taut, the German architect who emigrated to Turkey to flee the Nazis, argued, Sinan was himself a proto-modernist whose ability to create extraordinary beauty from novel engineering had more in common with twentieth-century German functionalism than earlier Islamic architecture. — The New York Review of Books
In a politically analytical article in New York Review of Books, Hugh Eakin examines the power policies of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and his ambitious plan to crystallize the country's image and political agenda via a single building. A large new mosque in classical Ottoman...
"You can have a grand dome and grand minaret, but if it doesn't really serve the purpose, if it only has a large prayer space and nothing else, then you're not really fulfilling the needs of the community," he says. — BBC News
In post 9/11 America the construction of new mosques in the US has sometimes sparked controversy and even confrontation. Is that why some new Muslim houses of worship are being built without the most recognisable features of Islamic architecture - minarets and domes?
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