AMIR SHAKIB ARSLAN MOSQUE
L.E.FT Architects is a New York based studio founded in 2005, their work is dedicated to examining the intersections of cultural and political productions as they relate to the built environment. Currently, L.E.FT is designing residential and cultural projects in New York, Dubai, Turkey, and Beirut.
From the architects: “The design for the Amir Shakib Arslan mosque in the village of Mukhtarah, Lebanon, occupies a renovated cross vaulted space with the addition of a steel structure and a plaza in front. The slender minaret is formed of thinly sliced steel plates, angled in the direction of Makkah, and linked horizontally through a canopy to a curved wall delineating the entry to the mosque. Atop the minaret, the word Allah (God) is folded biaxially from the minaret, becoming a structural calligraphy rather than a traditional ornamental applique. Seen from one side, Allah is read as solid, from the other side, Allah is read as a void. Below, at the entry to the mosque, the word Insan (Human Being) is added to the steel plates, to create a Hegelian dialectic of God/Man, putting humanity as an integral part of the equation with God, as a reminder of the humanistic tradition of Islam. The fight against fundamentalism is above all a cultural war of ideas, and architecture is one of its weapons.”
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