australian islamic centre by glenn murcutt nears completion in melbourne australian islamic centre by glenn murcutt nears completion in melbourne
aug 18, 2016

australian islamic centre by glenn murcutt nears completion in melbourne

the australian islamic centre is a building currently under construction in melbourne, designed by australia’s most internationally celebrated architect, glenn murcutt. the scheme, which has been in development since 2006, is now nearing completion ahead of its expected opening in late 2016. rather than incorporating a minaret or dome, the mosque seeks to challenge assumptions of historical islamic architecture with a roof that comprises a series of multi-colored glass lanterns.

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detail of the lanterns positioned on the roof of the building
image © tobias titz / all mosque drawings and designs © glenn murcutt

 

 

designed in collaboration with hakan elevli of elevli plus and the newport islamic society (NIS), the project involved significant consultation with local islamic architects, imams, and community leaders — the australian islamic centre has been both funded and built by the local community. once complete, the building will contain a mosque with sufficient indoor prayer space, as well as an education centre with a library that offers resources on islamic and arabic cultures, and provides arabic language education to muslims and non muslims alike. a 10,000 square meter public park surrounding the complex is being developed by hobsons bay city council.

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detail of the concrete minaret wall
image © tobias titz

 

 

the mosque incorporates triangular lanterns that extend over the main roof. orientated in four directions, these apertures capture light at different times of each day, taking on subtle variations as the sun moves across the sky. a shallow pool is situated at the qibla wall, utilized to reflect afternoon sun into the prayer hall and allow the movement of the water to reflect onto the ceiling and walls. murcutt and elevli’s design reimagines the mosque’s geometry, colors, materiality, and spatial organization to create an accessible place of worship and learning for the entire community.

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mihrab inset within the qibla wall
image © tobias titz

 

 

the australian islamic centre is further explored in an ongoing exhibition at the national gallery of victoria in melbourne. ‘glenn murcutt: architecture of faith’ reveals the history, process, and people behind the centre through 200 original sketches by murcutt, architectural drawings and plans, photography, scale models, life-size building elements and documentary footage. the presentation remains on display until february 19, 2017.

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inside the australian islamic centre
image © tobias titz

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detail of colored daylight through the roof lanterns
image © tobias titz

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australian islamic centre, architecture sketch 2006-2016 / collection of the glenn murcutt AO
image © glenn murcutt

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australian islamic centre, sketched southern building elevation 2006 / collection of the glenn murcutt AO
image © glenn murcutt

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australian islamic centre, sketched section through main prayer hall 2006 / collection of the glenn murcutt AO
image © glenn murcutt

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