Mosque complex in Athens
Based on recent estimations, more than 300,000 Muslims live in the wider area of the city of Athens, a rate approaching the 10% of its total population. The construction of a formal, legally-recognized, Islamic mosque is not only a constitutional requirement, but also a social necessity.
According to the 3512/2006-Law, the area of 'Elaionas' has qualified for the creation of the new Islamic mosque of Athens. This pre-industrial, neglected for years city-district, which is the subject of a large-scale plan for an urban reformation and restructuring, became deterministically the site for our design proposal. Our design strategy aims at the harmonious integration of the mosque into the planned urban redevelopment.
CONCEPT ON URBAN SCALE
Our proposal treats the mosque as an extroverted building, articulated with a wide range of public spaces, which would invite multinational groups and encourage the communication between cultures, without disturbing the functionality of the religious complex.
To achieve this objective we investigated the structural and functional role of the mosque as the syntactic center of the Islamic city and reformulated relative urban typologies, so as to reflect/comply to the contemporary urban environment of a European, but also historically unique, capital, such as Athens.
- Islamic mosque with a capacity of 400-500 worshipers
- Indoor and outdoor ablution spaces
- Public and Islamic library
- Imam’s residence and office
- Open and closed market (bazaar)
- Green spaces, gardens and cultivation areas
- Archaeological zone, museum and multipurpose assembly hall
CONCEPT ON BUILDING SCALE
The design of the mosque satisfies primarily a number of criteria derived from the Islamic religious canon.
Considering the architectural history of Greece and its intersection with the past-presence of the Islamic element, we rejected novel architectural forms or the incorporation of exotic imitative applications. The proposed structures, i.e. the design of the mosque as a contemporary geodesic dome, reformulate basic formal typologies of the Byzantine architecture, which were evolved and adopted by the Ottoman architecture - the 'massive central dome', the 'narthex' and the 'peristyle' - trying to express the values that gave birth to them, via contemporary architectural vocabulary.
[ Thesis project, team members: Dimitris Aidonis, Dimitris Gogolos, Aleksandros Protopapas ] - 2012