Sydney Newest Mosque will be unveiled for the four-day Sydney Architecture Festival, founded 11 years ago to bring discussion around architecture and design out of boardrooms and studios and into the community.
The mosque posed a unique challenge – to respect the sacred traditions of the Islamic faith as described by the qiblah wall facing Mecca and the minbar or pulpit, rising high to address worshippers and observe the planning guidelines and height restrictions of the red brick and tile suburb.
The result is one in which the traditional wedding cake mosque with its high minarets and dome sitting on top of a cube has been reinvented.
Sydney’s newest and smallest mosque features hundreds of raw concrete half domes, each of which will have pinholes of light inscribed with the 99 different names for God.
“There is going to be a series of intense lights through the little skylights that exist in every single one of these half domes and there will be 102 stars,” Mr Candalepas said. “It will be beautiful, don’t you think?”
The mosque, still with scaffolding, will be unveiled for the four-day Sydney Architecture Festival, founded 11 years ago to bring discussion around architecture and design out of boardrooms and studios and into the community.
At a free public open day event called Meet the Aussie Mosque, Sydney will be introduced to the architectural and culturally significant features of the $12 million mosque.
Festival director Tim Horton said the mosque’s design represented the template for a new form of mosque with its own unique Australian identity, and the open day was a chance to bridge cultural differences.
“This is a mosque but not as we know it,” Mr Horton said. “Driving past it would turn anyone’s head. It’s even more intriguing once you know its purpose and it’s even more thrilling once you step inside and see a very ancient tradition of the dome and the arch used in a completely new way by Angelo and this will be unfinished, this is a contemporary concrete building.
“We are not saying that architecture can solve the world’s problem by itself but we are saying sometimes we can bridge our differences at the end of the day by breaking bread, and loving a good building.”
The festival, with its program of talks, exhibitions, panel discussions and open day events running from September 29 to October 2, is focused on western Sydney. Broad themes revolve around the built environment representing the city’s past, present and future.