emre arolat architects embeds sancaklar mosque within the turkish landscape
image © cemal emden

 

 

 

redefining the architectural traditions in the islamic place of worship, ‘sancaklar mosque’ is located in buyukçekmece, a suburban neighborhood on the outskirts of istanbul. conceived by emre arolat architects, sancaklar steers away from using the symbols, forms and decorations that are normally portrayed in traditional mosque design. instead, the building expresses spirituality through the contrasts in light, shadow, materiality and aesthetics to produce a peaceful sanctum for prayer. situated away from the chaos of the city and disconnected from the surrounding suburban communities, high walls are used to define this clear boundary. composed mainly of a gray kayrak stone and concrete, the building has become part of the existing topography and lies mostly buried underground. a long rectangular canopy stretching out from the park is the only architectural element visible on the exterior, while on approach to the entrance, there is a reflecting pool in the courtyard where the sound of the flowing water masks out any sound from nearby roads.

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
slate steps embedded in the grass hillside
image © cemal emden

 

 

 

internally, the design team took inspiration from the ‘cave of hira’- where prophet muhammad received the first revelations of the quran. the decision to relinquish the use of adornments and simply use textures from the material palette relates to the mosques that were built during the formative years of islam. daylight is filtered indirectly through understated openings and fractures along the qiblah wall, which is facing mecca and supporting concrete beams below the skylight direct the disperse of light. reinventing religious expression, sancaklar mosque accentuates the rawness of design to produce a simple and humble place of worship capturing the essence of the islamic faith.

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
image © cemal emden

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
pool with cascading water features
image © cemal emden

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
the horizontal walls creating boundaries
image © cemal emden

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
concrete layers forms the ceiling
image © thomas mayer

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
image © thomas mayer

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
narrow skylight running above and illuminating the prayer hall’s south wall
image © thomas mayer

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
image © thomas mayer

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
piece of modern calligraphy by mehmed özçay
image © thomas mayer

emre arolat architects sancaklar mosque istanbul turkey designboom
image © thomas mayer

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

architectural project: eaa-emre arolat architects
chief architect: emre arolat
project team: uygar yüksel, leyla kori, nil aynalı, fatih tezman, nurdan gürlesin
location: istanbul, turkey
project date: 2011
completion date: january 2014
parcel area: 7, 365 sqm
gross area: 1,200 sqm
footprint: 1,200 sqm
client: sancaklar foundation
owner: republic of turkey presidency of religious affairs