|BIG's Design for a Mosque Within a Cultural Complex in Albania|
|Tuesday, 10 May 2011 08:52|
A design consortium including BIG won the international design competition for a new 27.000 m2 cultural complex in Albania, consisting of a Mosque, an Islamic Centre, and a Museum of Religious Harmony.
Albania is the crossroads of three major religions: Orthodox Christianity; Catholicism; and Islam. With the recent completion of two new churches, all three religions will now have new places of worship in the heart of Tirana. The complex will not only serve the Muslim community of the city and surrounding areas, but will educate the public about Islamic values and serve as a beacon for religious tolerance.BIG’s winning entry was selected out of five finalists, including Spanish Architect Andreas Perea Ortega, Architecture Studio from France, Dutch SeARCH and London-based Zaha Hadid.
Mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama explains his choice: ”The winning proposal was chosen for its ability to create an inviting public space flexible enough to accommodate daily users and large religious events, while harmonically connecting with the Scanderbeg square, the city of Tirana and its citizens across different religions. Additionally the project shines through its beautiful garden surrounding the new Mosque and Center of Islamic Culture which symbolically features the rich vegetation described in Islamic literature. Finally the team’s awareness of the economic aspects of this important development will contribute to a successful realization of this project.”
Bjarke Ingels explains the reasons why the project is important for his firm:" Firstly it is a privilege to contribute to the ambitious rejuvenation of Tirana City – especially since it is happening not by the random accumulation of singular monuments – but rather in accordance with a careful and considerate holistic master plan. Secondly and perhaps most importantly –religious tolerance is one of our greatest challenges today– politically, culturally and even urbanistically. With the construction of the New Mosque of Tirana, The Islamic Center and The Museum of Religious Harmony – Tirana will reestablish the equilibrium by adding a mosque to the newly completed Orthodox and Catholic Cathedrals – making Tirana an example for the rest of the world as a global capital of religious harmony”.
Project: “A Mosque for All” New Mosque, Islamic Cultural Center, and Museum of Religious Harmony