"MOSQUE OF THE REPUBLIC & MUSEUM OF RELIGIONS Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey"
Dr. Ahmet Vefik Alp TMMOB, AIA, RIBA, IAA
Architect & Urbanist, Turkey
Category: Architecture Categories, Professional
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Taksim is the main square of Istanbul. Its environs have been inhabited by non-islamics since the Ottoman times. Splendid churches and a west-influenced architecture constitute the urban texture of the zone. ‘A monument by the Italian sculptor Pietro Conanico was erected in 1928. With the Ataturk statute it is considered to symbolise the modern Republic of Turkey. Although mosques are few in the area the construction of a new mosque in Taksim Square has been subject to consistent objections by west-oriented circles, The 2,500m2 site is located at the rear of the historical water tank.
The present conception for the Taksim Mosque may be considered as a radical step in the mosque architecture. While mosques have traditionally been fake replicas of the 500 years old grand architecture of the Ottoman Master Architect Sinan, the avant guard design brings a breakthrough for mosque architecture.
The praying space is an elevated dome, self-structured with a mesh-like envelope. With ‘Allah’ scriptures disguised within the texture of the dome represents the ‘infinity’. A glass dome inside controls the climate. The minaret derives from a similar texture approach.The four small crescents represent the four Khalifas. The elevated dish is supported by columns reminding prayers with arms opened to the God. The space below offers a semi-open praying area where people may also socialize.
The first basement is reserved for the conference and banquet room, the second houses the library, the classroms and workshop studios. The 5th, 4th, and 3rd basements interconnected with mobile ramps are designated for the Muesum of Religions. The visitors start their visit from the 5th basement reserved Judaism, and continue up to 4th basement for the Christianity, and finally up to the 3rd for the Islam
The enclosed area totals 17,000m2. The praying capacity is 1,400 persons
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