AL-KHAYRIA CULTURAL CENTER
- Urban Platform
General organization in horizontal layers:
• Community services on the ground floor and expression of transparency
• Teaching facilities on the first floor
• Independent housing units on 2d and 3d floors, in a hanging garden
• Create modern cultural and teaching facilities, open to local community at large.
• Create very qualitative housing at controlled prices, much needed by local population
• Rehabilitate the street by improving social control, through transparency of community services, combined with housing creation.
• Requalify the block without hindering other future developments
• Increase the green area inside of block, and create a reference building in sustainable development in the district.
• Offer a contemporary architectural project as a strong symbol of a modern islam which achieves its integration in today's belgian society.
Functional concept: global use of site in horizontal layers, allowing future adaptability
Architectural concept: contemporary interpretation of traditional geometric patterns
The form of islamic architecture and the style of its decoration has varied through islamic history, depending on which culture implemented them. An indigenous european islamic architecture should be a continuation of this process of interpretation and reference to tradition. As there are no actual requirements, other than, for the mosque, the prayer being oriented towards makkah, the formal responses are open to interpretation and suggestion.
It is important to refer to elements that people perceive as traditional, as the building has to have meaning for the people that use it as well it being a symbol for the ongoing evolution of the muslim world, of islamic tradition, and of the diversification of our society. In this sense the building should negotiate between all of these aspirations and represent a complex set of local and global patterns and so be an exciting building type on the brussels’ architectural scene.
As a starting point, we would work on a specific pattern from the islamic geometry tradition, to enlarge and abstract it to form the voids of the building. Through this abstraction process we would like to create a design which is part structural, part enclosure, part islamic pattern, and part abstract shape, to maintain a connection with an islamic architectural history, without reverting to the formal elements of minaret and dome.