The trafﬁc design competition announced winners of its multi-discipline design competition. The winner of the Mosque category is RUX with their entry “The Vanishing Mosque”.
Winners were picked by the competition’s four judges :
Alexander von Vegesack, Vitra Design Museum
Dr. Sami Angawi, Amar Centre for Architectural Heritage
Renny Ramakers, Droog
Rami Farook, trafﬁc
Alexander von Vegesack said, “Within four sections to apply for, Dubai’s design competition “Design as Reform” (by trafﬁc) this year shows up with some refreshing ideas. The indeed “new” projects in the section of architecture impressed me most. The mosque and related to it, a very much traditional anchoring successfully was implied in simple and modern concepts. The applicants for interior and experimental design were not able to continue the high level of surprise effect of the ﬁrst three sections mentioned. However each group could convince with one outstanding idea: especially the experimental design section appears with a very humorous and at the same time smart concept of public architecture: modern and clearly in the context of the Arab environment – that is Design as Reform 2010!”
What if a mosque was not a building? What if it vanished into the fabric of a city? Seamless with the streets, connected directly to the pulse of daily life, and open to anyone and everyone at anytime, The Vanishing Mosque becomes more visible, more iconic, and more integral to the spiritual and cultural workings of a community than any building with doors and walls ever could.
This design strategy was created as a "developer's tool" for integrating spiritual space within new urban developments in the Middle East. Superimposing the function of a mosque within an urban plaza maximizes the value of public spaces, increases the value of adjacent properties, and fosters a powerful sense of community for residents.
While the image of The Vanishing Mosque is new and seemingly unfamiliar, its driving design principles are inspired by those that have ruled mosque-building for centuries.
Qibla (orientation to Mecca): The city grid around the mosque is disrupted by a powerful gravitational force, warping the ground plane, skewing facades, and forging a forced perspective view in the direction of Mecca.
Infinity: The Vanishing Mosque gestures to infinity with optical illusion. Diminishing column sizes and the subtle scaling of marble tiles extend the view to infinity within a finite space.
Light: White marble saw-tooth facades and floor contrast with deep arcades to create rich gradients of shadow in natural and artificial light.
Community: The inside of The Vanishing Mosque is its outside. Its community extends to the limits of the city at large, creating a sense of shared ownership, collective identity, and deep roots that connect spiritual life to modern urban living.
Material: Alabaster marble, Glass
Size: 5000 square meters
Designers: Russell Greenberg, Tim Kirkby, Chris Beardsley, Joyce Chang