In the town of Moukhtara, Mount Lebanon, L.E.FT Architects have transformed a 100-square-meter structure into a symbolic, picturesque mosque. The Amir Shakib Arslan mosque is a rendition of old versus new with a white steel structure overlaid onto an existing building of cross-vaulted masonry. The angular geometry of the steel plates is a result of the structure’s alignment in relation to Mecca.
Lebanese architectural photographer Bahaa Ghoussainy has released a new series of images which accentuate the contrast that lies between the architectural design of the mosque and the traditional representation of Islamic mosques and prayers. The juxtaposition of an Islamic holy place built in a non-Islamic town is translated into the architecture’s design, merging two dissonant styles into one complementary structure.
Every element of the renovation is as functional as it is decorative. The steel frames create a public plaza with a water fountain and shaded seating areas, and typography spelling the words “Allah” and “Insan” (human) is incorporate into the structure of the minaret and canopy respectively. The frames play with the mosque’s architecture, creating an optical contrast between the light steel structure and heavy masonry. This contrast complements the lightness of the mosque, built next to Moukhtara’s volumetric stone palace.
See the full project including drawings and a description by the architects here.