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'Sancaklar Mosque', Istanbul, Turkey

Friday 31 Oct 2014

Anatomy of a building

'Sancaklar Mosque' by WAN Editorial in Istanbul, Turkey
'Sancaklar Mosque' by WAN Editorial in Istanbul, Turkey 'Sancaklar Mosque' by WAN Editorial in Istanbul, Turkey 'Sancaklar Mosque' by WAN Editorial in Istanbul, Turkey 'Sancaklar Mosque' by WAN Editorial in Istanbul, Turkey
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Architecture and design media practice SGMStudio has filmed a short documentary visualising four seasons of the Sancaklar Mosque from frame to finish 

The film visualises the transformation of steel, concrete and stone into a place of worship by following the construction of the building from frame to finish every step of the way. It premiered at Architecture Week Prague.

The Emre Arolat Architects-designed mosque - located on the outskirts of Istanbul - is a distinguished example of modern architecture that stands out among Turkey's Islamic places of worship dominated by historicist building typologies.

In order to reflect and project the creation process of this unique piece of architecture, Istanbul-based SGMStudio documented Sancaklar Mosque from the ground up for more than two years.

The creative team narrates the building's architectural emphasis on "the tension between the natural and the artificial" via motion picture -a fairly unusual medium among the usual representations of architecture- and adopts the seasonal changes witnessed by the construction process as the back bone of the story.

‘Sancaklar Mosque' depicts the transformation of the building from a framework to a place of worship, conveys the integration of the fascinating natural landscape of the project with the fluid, man-made landscaping, and introduces the building's proud and graceful geometry through the agency of motion picture and documentation.

The film visualises the seasonal changes in activity and the organic transformation of the landscape, not as mere backdrops, but as aspects of the mosque's formation. SGMStudio aims to portray the building's extraordinary and striking spatial sensation by enhancing the same sensibility visible in the structure within its narrative.

Technical details
For ‘Sancaklar Mosque', SGMStudio spent 35 shooting days spread over a period of 24 months. Due to the inaccessibility of the area during harsh winter times, the studio recreated the snowbound imagery of the construction with the help of photo manipulation, matte painting, 3D effects and compositing techniques.

By utilising both sharp timelapse shots and cinematic footage for its visual narrative, the film dwells on the tension between the technical and engineering-centric implementation and humble and tranquil art of building with its pacing.

The original score of the film is an integrated manifestation of both the modern silhouette and the Islamic references of the building. The musical piece combines classical music with the oriental end-blown ney flute, allowing the co-existence of the hectic beat of construction and the peaceful serenity of worship within one picture.

For the musical composition, which steers the pace and feel of the film with the help of audio samples of natural phenomena, all of the instruments, including the ney, were mixed in a fully digital environment.

Sarraf | Galeyan | Mekanik (a.k.a. SGMStudio) was founded by partners Emine Seda Kayim, Erhun Erdogan and Memduh Can Tanyeli in August 2012. Defining and creating an inter-disciplinary working field emerging from the individual specialty areas of its partners, SGMStudio has drawn its path by designing and producing multimedia works for creative industries,

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
WAN Editorial

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