Competition for 30,000-capacity mosque in Istanbul ends with no winner
A recent competition to design a new mosque upon a 15,000 sq m plot atop the highest hilltop in Uskudar, Camlica has come to a conclusion. It was decided that of the 62 entering practices, not one deserved the advertised first prize of TL 300,000. Two runners-up - Bahar Mizrak and Gul Totu [Today’s Zaman] - were therefore awarded a shared prize of TL 225,000. 40 longlisted projects were reduced to a shortlist of 20, from which the two runners-up were selected
Here we bring you the smooth curves of Turner Cakmakli Architects, a local practice whose concept rises from the hilltop in an open, circular form. A green-walling system casts a pleasing pattern of shadow across a central area for prayer which appears open to the elements. The competition brief demanded a 30,000-capacity mosque which was to be visible from any one point in Istanbul and included a tourist area with cafes, recreation amenities, a children’s park and education centre.
Of their concept, Tuncer Cakmakli Architects explain: “Istanbul Camlica Mosque has been located in the heart of nature and in a Garden of Eden on top of the most visual hill of Istanbul as a structure with the function of not only a prayer space but also as an area where Muslims gather, pray and receive education along with the function of public kitchen. Walls surrounding the mosque become solid in the mihrab wall and transform into a Garden of Eden around the courtyard wall.
“Spaces acting as social complexes in ‘Kulliye’ structure in Ottoman period existing in many structural masses have been integrated into the Istanbul Camlica Mosque as one structural mass. The mosque, with transparent courtyard walls decorated with roses, jasmines and other flowers with many different colours on the inner and outer surfaces will provide the ambience and sensation of a Garden of Eden. Two minarets located on the sides of the mosque in Qibla direction will act as shafts aspirating fresh air and provide natural ventilation for the prayer room. Minarets will allow the prayer room to breathe with this new function.”