Zeynep Fadillioglu is the first female architect to design a mosque. Her Sakirin Mosque, in one of Istanbul’s oldest cemeteries, is a blend of traditional ornamental symbolism and refined, serene modernism.
Of course, she had to consult Islamic authorities throughout the construction of the spectacular building, but regardless of religion, every worship space shares a common quality: “Serenity,” she says, “I think when you step inside a mosque, like any other religious building, you leave everything to do with the outside world, outside the door.”
The monumental dome is meant to humble visitors, while the low chandeliers give them a sense of warmth and comfort. The walls are glass facades that allow light in through intricate metalwork. Colors, textures, and forms all give a connection to tradition, and a meaning to the mosque.
Fittingly, one of the most thoughtfully conceived features is the position and design of the women’s prayer area. Islamic tradition requires this space to be behind the men’s, and it is often smaller. Yet Fadillioglu’s design for this section is in one of the most striking areas in the dome, perched on the upper level, flooded with light.
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