Adjaye Associates have been selected as the winners of The Abrahamic Family House competition, in Abu Dhabi. The landmark project, on Saadiyat Island, is a space where 3 religions will come together with the implementation of a mosque, a synagogue, and a church.
Sitting on a secular visitor pavilion, the project commissioned by the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity is a first of its kind. Built in the UAE’s capital, David Adjaye explained: “that the space will be open to the world, [hoping] that through these buildings people of all faiths and from across society can learn and engage in a mission of peaceful coexistence for generations to come”. With Christian, Islamic and Jewish faith leaders, The Higher Committee overlooks the landmark project that aims to “embody the relationship between the three Abrahamic faiths whilst providing a platform for dialogue, understanding, and coexistence between their religions”.
The innovative idea will help produce an inter-religious dialogue and exchange, in order to “nurture the values of peaceful co-existence and acceptance”. The Abrahamic Family House will put in place each of the houses of worship, where anyone can observe and experience sacred rituals. An additional space is created where everyone can come together, serving as a center for all people of goodwill.
On the design of the plan, David Adjaye said that: “We were led towards these powerful plutonic forms with a clear geometry, three cubes sitting on a plinth – though not aligned, they each have different orientations. The story then starts to become apparent through the power of the silhouette, unified with commonality and the articulation of the three forms. These structures represent a safe space, each volume illustrated with colonnades, screens, and vaults to represent the sacred nature”.
Our discovery continued with the common ground, the public space in-between, where the difference connects. I saw the garden as a powerful metaphor, this safe space where community, connection and civility combine – this space exists between the three chambers, the three faiths. The podium allows you to interact with each space, there’s no preventative threshold and this way you dissolve the perceptions of not being included and encourage the celebration of this collective history & collective identity. -- Sir David Adjaye, Founder and Principal of Adjaye Associates