Project team:

Client: Sancaklar Foundation
Owner: Republic of Turkey Presidency of Religious Affairs
Architects: Emre Arolat Architects – Emre Arolat (Project management),
Uygar Yüksel, Leyla Kori, Nil Aynalı, Fatih Tezman, Nurdan Gürlesin
Landscape architecture: Emre Arolat Architects
Landcape consultants: Medosa
Lighting Design: Studio Lighting Design, collaborator and project partner of Studio Piero Castiglioni
Calligraphy: Mehmed Özçay

Products applied:

Lighting controls, indoor lighting and exterior lighting: Vetaş Electric and Lighting

16. Oct 2015

The Mosque in Istanbul manages with very little ornamentation and thrives on incident daylight

Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Thomas Mayer, Cemal Emden

When life is dull, uneventful or even depressing, we yearn for pomp and frills. And yet when we are overcome by the hectic flow of normality there is nothing we like better than seclusion and simplicity. People around the world frequently resort to sacred buildings to help them find what they are missing outside their social lives, in order to discover and contemplate what they hold within themselves.

The new Sancaklar Mosque in Istanbul is an expression of modesty and calm, the opposite of what is currently shaping Turkish society: the hustle and bustle of modern life, dynamic urban development and a certain level of – yes – pomp. The new mosque has nothing to do with any of this! Parts of it are below ground, although even those spaces still receive some daylight influx. It would have been fatal not to have designed the interior like that, especially since the presence of daylight and its untamable dynamic quality has a far greater impact on a sacred space than any other form of light. This, after all, is what divine illumination is all about. It is not always easy to fathom the reasons why an architect opts for a particular concept, specific materials and a specific lighting solution. Is it the budget, which is frequently quoted as being the driving force behind opting for cost-efficient solutions? Is it the philosophy upon which the building was constructed that determined which materials were to be applied? To be honest, it is neither the one nor the other approach that seals the deal. What is important is what light is to be involved, applied or integrated. Given its dynamic quality, daylight offers scope for interpretation. It is interesting to note that daylight, dynamic though it is, appears to radiate a certain tranquillity, which is what we seek when we are trying to escape from our hectic lives. This would explain why daylight is perfect in the context of sacred buildings. When seeking the answers to the questions of life, man needs space to think and gather inspiration. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 99

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