The main purpose of the design for the Istanbul Camlica Mosque, which won the second prize in the architectural competition, was to create the largest worship place that has ever been designed, and cover it with one single roof. SN Architects successfully did this by using the load bearing properties of one of the traditional systems that often used “vault systems” and using contemporary architectural and engineering facilities. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The load bearing capacity of the system was increased by bending the folded vault plate form. The main space was covered by a combination of three different vault forms. The main fiction of the design was to create a rectangular area to set up the lines in front of mihrab (prayer niche) wall of the mosque. Also creating shell forms as a roof, provides dynamism to the project.
The concept of using shell forms that are surrounding the mosque, refers to the meaning “comprising, bringing close together”. As in the classical mosque design; outer courtyard, inner courtyard-revaq (arcade) system was also built in the new design. The main worship area was accessed from the outer courtyard, supported with a side courtyard. The entrance of the outer courtyard was provided under a canopy. Secondary places that are required in the program, like conference hall and so on, are placed under a shell where it opens to side courtyard. Parking area is placed under the main worship space on the basement floor.
The main worship area and the outer courtyard had to be designed on the same level to be able to serve properly. Also regarding to the topography of the site, the project was designed in a way that the landscape would be one of the key elements to connect and embrace the slope of the hill through its curvilinear features. Therefore reflective pools were designed and placed between the landscape and the actual mosque as a connective element.
In Islam, minarets function as a tall component of a mosque to call people for praying, and they are designed to be higher than the main building. This call should be done from a higher level to be able to reach everyone around that district and this idea constitutes the basis for the construction of places of worship.
Considering the developing technologies, minarets have become symbolic elements of a mosque. Therefore, on this project only one minaret was planned to be placed which is not only as a symbolic element of the project but also as a symbol of the city. The façades of the building were designed to reflect the traditional Ottoman motifs with the wooden shading elements that were placed outside of the glass façade.
Çamlica Mosque was designed in such a quality that can be foreseen as the symbol of the city of Istanbul considering the location and the scale of the project. Architects: SN Architects Location: Istanbul, Turkey Design Team: Süleyman Akkaş, Nihal Şenkaya Akkaş Type: Religious Architecture – Mosque Design Site Area: 57,511 sqm Project Area: 43,506 sqm Status: Architectural competition, 2nd prize Competition Organized by: ICEKHBYYD Capacity: 30,000 persons Project Year: 2012