Cultural Transfers #4: Cube or Dome

27 Jan - 01 Apr 2012

Assyafaah Mosque, Singapore, 2000
© Forum Architects, Singapore
Cultural Transfers #4
Mosques. New Ways of Building
27 January - 1 April, 2012

Haseeb Ahmed
Azra Aksamija
Johannes Buchhammer
Boran Burchardt
Wilfried Dechau
New Ways
The Contemporary

"What makes a Mosque a Mosque? That is very simple: a wall that exactly faces Mecca." This is how Kuwaiti planner and architecture professor Omar Khattab describes the defining feature of a Muslim place of prayer – precisely and concisely. There are of course traditions and references within mosque architecture, but only very few aesthetic design rules. Building a mosque can thus always be rethought, reinvented and rebuilt by artists and architects as well.

Therefore this exhibition shows design variants and plans within four different sections. Under the title "New Ways" we present buildings in postcolonial states in Indonesia and Pakistan and also new mosque buildings in a Europe influenced by migration. "The Contemporary" looks at the development of independent formal idioms in Ankara, Dubai, Ramallah, Singapore and Bangladesh, standing also for the expression of "Euro Islam" in Germany and the Netherlands.

In the section entitled "(In)Visibility" we show strategies by which planners engage with the theme of camouflage architecture and also with artistic imitation – from redefining usage to the Swiss prohibition of minarets, to art-on-construction-sites projects.

Finally the "Encounters" section links up to classical forms of building, and also brings in the subject of opening up to other religions. Showing a large number of examples, this exhibition takes a first inventory of most recent developments in a form of building whose masterpieces still today represent a great challenge to architects and believers: from Penzberg and Kayseri to Chittagong, from Albuquerque to Algiers.

On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue with 144 pages is printed.