Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects
Sancaklar Mosque, Istanbul. Emre Arolat Architects eschews the traditional intricate ornamentation of many mosques to focus on creating an ultra modern simplicity yet impactful space for prayer.

Architects: Emre Arolat Architects
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Area: 700.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Thomas Mayer

From the architect. Sancaklar Mosque located in Buyukçekmece, a suburban neighborhood in the outskirts of Istanbul, aims to address the fundamental issues of designing a mosque by distancing itself from the current architectural discussions based on form and focusing solely on the essence of religious space.

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects
The Sancaklar Mosque is set in a sloping field on the outskirts of Istanbul and was built into the landscape using concrete and natural stone.

The project site is located in a prairie landscape that is separated from the surrounding suburban gated communities by a busy highway. The high walls surrounding the park on the upper courtyard of the mosque depict a clear boundary between the chaotic outer world and the serene atmosphere of the public park. The long canopy stretching out from the park becomes the only architectural element visible from the outside. The building is located below this canopy and can be accessed from a path from the upper courtyard through the park. The building blends in completely with the topography and the outside world is left behind as one moves through the landscape, down the hill and in between the walls to enter the mosque.

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects
Daylight streams in from a narrow skylight between the vortexlike ceiling and the qiblah wall to enlighten the cavernous space, which was completed earlier in 2012.

The interior of the mosque, a simple cave like space, becomes a dramatic and awe inspiring place to pray and be alone with God. The slits and fractures along the Qiblah wall enhances the directionality of the prayer space and allows daylight to filter into the prayer hall.

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects
The peaceful complex also includes courtyards, water terraces that cascade down the hillside, and reflecting pools.

The project constantly plays off of the tension between man-made and natural. The contrast between the natural stone stairs following the natural slope of the landscape and the thin reinforced concrete slab spanning over 6 meters to form the canopy helps enhance this dual relationship.

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects
Located in Buyukcekmece, a suburban neighborhood in the outskirts of Istanbul, the high walls surrounding the park on the upper courtyard of the mosque depict a clear boundary between the chaotic outer world and the serene atmosphere of the public park.

EAA (Emre Arolat Architects) completed a stunning new underground mosque in Buyukcekmece, a suburban neighbourhood of Istanbul. This modest space plays on the relationship between architecture and nature, with only a 6m reinforced concrete slab visible above the ground to highlight where the mosque is located.

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects

Worshippers enter the Sancaklar Mosque – located near a busy road on a prairie landscape – through a simple courtyard in a public park and follow a series of natural stone steps downwards at a decline determined by the natural sloping of the landscape.

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects
Sancaklar Mosque, designed by Emre Arolat Architects, aims to address the fundamental issues of designing a mosque by distancing itself from the current architectural discussions based on form and focusing solely on the essence of religious space.

Emre Arolat Architects explains: “The building blends in completely with the topography and the outside world is left behind as one moves through the landscape, down the hill and in between the walls to enter the mosque.”

Once within the interior space, visitors are greeted by an unembellished volume. The ‘cave-like’ space is gently lit by natural light which diffuses in through small slits and fractures in the Qiblah wall, creating ‘a dramatic and awe-inspiring place to pray and be alone with God’.

PEOPLE

Owner:
Republic of Turkey Presidency of Religious Affairs

Architect:
Emre Arolat Architects,
Nispetiye Mah. Aytar Cad. No: 24 Floor 3-4
34340 1.Levent
Istanbul, TR
Tel: +90 212 284 7073
Fax: +90 212 284 7063

Architect of record:
Emre Arolat

Associate architect(s):
Emre Arolat, Uygar Yüksel, Leyla Kori, Nil Aynali, Fatih Tezman, Nurdan Gürlesin

Engineers:
Structural:
Balkar Engineering

Mechanical:
Setta Engineering

Electrical:
HB teknik

Consultant(s):
Landscape:
Emre Arolat Architects, Medosa

Lighting:
SLD – Piero Castiglioni

Acoustical:
Sey Consulting

General contractor:
Sancaklar Foundation

Photographer(s):
Cemal Emden
Thomas Mayer

Calligraphy:
Mehmed Özçay

PRODUCTS

Structural system
Concrete

Exterior cladding
Masonry:
Boyut Yapi Mimarlik

Moisture barrier:
Detay Yapi

Curtain wall:
Özcem Yapi

Windows
Metal frame:
BSM Aluminium

Glazing
Glass:
BSM Aluminium

Doors
Entrances:
Natural Ahsap

Wood doors:
Natural Ahsap

Interior finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Bay Ahsap

Paints and stains:
Boyut Yapi

Solid surfacing:
BMG

Carpet:
Golden Hali

Furnishings
Chairs:
Koleksiyon Mobilya

Tables:
Koleksiyon Mobilya

Lighting
Downlights:
Vetas Electric & Lighting

Task lighting:
Vetas Electric & Lighting

Exterior:
Vetas Electric & Lighting

Dimming System or other lighting controls:
Vetas Electric & Lighting

Conveyance
Accessibility provision:
MER Asansör

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Timber formwork:
Peri Kalip