round table


participants: Murat Arslan, Uschi Lichtenegger, Gerhard Springer
moderated by Negar Hakim 

Tuesday, 21/01/2020, 7pm
philomena+ project room, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna

Gerhard Springer, Islamisches Kulturzentrum Graz, 2012–2020, © the architect

Round table as a part of the exhibition Contemporary Mosque Buildings, in which philomena+ presents outstanding examples of contemporary mosques from Europe, which were discussed in the course “Contemporary Sacred Architecture of Islam” at the Vienna University of Technology in the research area “History of Architecture and Building Archaeology”.

The space, architecture and construction of historical mosques were examined and the changes in use and benefits of newer mosques were researched.

What could a mosque look like in the age of globalization? This is a question that gained new importance at the international level due to the growing labor and refugee migration from Islamic countries to Western and Central Europe.

Here, the visibility of Islam in public space, especially in the form of representative mosques, is associated with social and political conflicts. Most of the mosques that have been designed and often built in recent years have provoked fierce discussion and rejection despite decades of cultural diversity.

One effect of this controversy is that the critical question as to whether prayer houses in today’s world really need to have the traditional building elements is raised. Specifically, the dome and the minaret and their necessity for functionality and to be perceived by the religious community as a dignified establishment – because it is precisely these that are reacted to sensitively.

philomena+ asks whether architects can contribute to defusing emerging conflicts with creative, contemporary solutions.

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