Local architecture studio Candalepas Associates has completed a mosque with a decorative concrete-vaulted roof in Sydney, Australia. Located in the suburb of Punchbowl, the religious building provides space for 300 men and women worshippers to congregate.
The studio designed the mosque with a rectangular layout that has two adjoined but separate courtyards. These provide segregated gender-specific routes to perform required ablutions before prayer.
Once inside, the worshippers face a sculptural, stepped wall of ornamental vaulting on the prayer space’s south and west walls, orienting them towards Mecca. The 102 half-domed forms of the cast in-situ pattern allude to honeycomb structure of muqarnas – ornamented vaulting seen in traditional Islamic architecture. Streams of daylight extrude through a 30-millimetre hole in the centre of each of the concrete muqarnas. These are designed to illuminate the space throughout the day for the five prayers. Above the prayer hall, a plywood clad dome with an oculus feeds daylight into the space.
Split into multiple phases over more than 20 years, the second construction phase will include a school for up to 175 students and offices around the larger courtyard. The Australian Islamic Mission (AIM) is a community based organisation, established in 1973 and based in Sydney, which fundraised to pay for the project.
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