Patterns of the sand dunes: The Al Dana Mosque by X-Architects
Client: Aldar Properties
Location: Abu Dhabi (AE)
One of the basic principles of the project is to connect the religious context with harmonious integration into the urban realities of Abu Dhabi. The sahn – a walled courtyard canonical in Islamic architecture, surrounded on all sides by open arcades or porticoes – is conceptualised at this mosque as a publicly accessible place, creating an urban link between religious function and city life. The dome-shaped structure plays an important role in the mosque’s nocturnal lighting design as well as providing a light source for the immediate environment, while during the day a high circular window lets natural light into the building’s interior. The 2,200 m2 project was inspired by so-called ripple marks – the wave-shaped movements and line patterns often found in sand dunes.
The Al Dana Mosque’s design is characterised by the embedding of architectural tradition in a modern urban context. However, this connection is not to be understood as a dichotomy, but derives from an aspiration to reinterpret certain aspects of Islamic architecture without neglecting the essence of this architectural tradition.