Dogramacizade Ali Pasa Mosque

But in order to take part in modern civilization, it is necessary at the same time to take part in scientific, technical, and political rationality, something which very often requires the pure and simple abandon of a whole cultural past. It is a fact: every culture cannot sustain and absorb the shock of modern civilization. There is the paradox: how to become modern and to return to sources; how to revive an old, dormant civilization and take part in universal civilization. Paul Ricoeur. History and Truth In order to advance the contemporary culture of Anatolia, upholding the historical cultural wealth alone is not sufficient. It is imperative to cultivate these seeds in the creation of contemporary life and habitat.

For artistic creation of today the idea of “conformity` has to relate to history, as history has to be regarded not as a catalogue of dead knowledge of past but as a “source`. In this context, Architect has to be equipped to remember and forget at the same time... Bilkent Dogramacizade Ali Sami Pasa Mosque complex was designed in 2004-2005, construction started in 2007 and the building opened to public use in October 2008. The complex is situated close to the Bilkent University campus and has a total building area of 6000 m2. In addition to standard functions of a Mosque, the complex embodies spaces of worship for other major religions to cater for the multi-ethnic nature of the University population. The main prayer hall is accessed through a serene landscaped courtyard flanked by the halls reserved for other religions. However, the aim of the architectural brief was not to construct a multi-faith complex, as such, but rather to provide multi-functional spaces for the community to exercise their religious activities as they see fit. The client and designers were mindful of the enormity of the task of bringing together different faiths as a bold statement, but chose to limit themselves to providing the shell for the community to exist in goodwill and tolerance and shape the complex accordingly. As such, the building is the first example of its kind. Through a re-evaluative design process, the designers have set out to incorporate the basic elements of a mosque; courtyard, dome and minaret with the language of modern architecture.

The attainment of timeless and celestial atmosphere inside the main prayer hall was sought through subtle use of materials and a multi-layered, multi-colored, semi-transparent dome signifying heavens and cosmos. The effect of light that’s emitted through the glass dome creates an ever-changing illumination patterns that accentuate the spatial experience. Through use of architectural elements of space and material, the building sets out to establish, once again, the delicate balance between a soul’s humbleness against infinite time and cosmos with the finite desire for joy of life in this existence. The designers have tried to maintain the tradition of religious building components in a restrained manner and achieve a distinctive, unique, present-day reinterpretation of a prevalent building type loaded with age-old symbols. These qualities set the building apart from tens of thousands of mosques in the region designed with ages-old vocabulary and ideas. landscaped courtyard flanked by the halls reserved for other religions. However, the aim of the architectural brief was not to construct a multi-faith complex, as such, but rather to provide multi-functional spaces for the community to exercise their religious activities as they see fit. The client and designers were mindful of the enormity of the task of bringing together different faiths as a bold statement, but chose to limit themselves to providing the shell for the community to exist in goodwill and tolerance and shape the complex accordingly. As such, the building is the first example of its kind. Through a reevaluative design process, the designers have set out to incorporate the basic elements of a mosque; courtyard, dome and minaret with the language of modern architecture. The attainment of timeless and celestial atmosphere inside the main prayer hall was sought through subtle use of materials and a multi-layered, multi-colored, semi-transparent dome signifying heavens and cosmos.

The effect of light that’s emitted through the glass dome creates an ever-changing illumination patterns that accentuate the spatial experience. Through use of architectural elements of space and material, the building sets out to establish, once again, the delicate balance between a soul’s humbleness against infinite time and cosmos with the finite desire for joy of life in this existence. The designers have tried to maintain the tradition of religious building components in a restrained manner and achieve a distinctive, unique, present-day reinterpretation of a prevalent building type loaded with age-old symbols. These qualities set the building apart from tens of thousands of mosques in the region designed with ages-old vocabulary and ideas.

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13 photos and 7 drawings

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