Platonic Sacred Structures: Abrahamic Family House by Adjaye Associates
Adjaye Associates have carried the day with their design for the Abrahamic Family House, which is to be erected on the island of Sa’adiyat in Abu Dhabi on behalf of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity. Conceived as a platform for interfaith dialogue among the three Abrahamic religions, the Abrahamic Family House - whose proposal was displayed at the New York Public Library - represents an architectural rendition of the Document on Human Fraternity.
Three houses of worship - mosque, synagogue and church - stand together in a shared garden landscape. An additional, fourth space is not devoted to any particular religion; rather, it functions as a community centre offering educational and cultural programs.
For Sir David Adjaye, founder and principal member of Adjaye Associates, connecting and overlapping elements played a vital role in this project. His main idea for the design was to ponder the concept of adjacency. Variously positioned cubes with clear geometry rest on plinths like platonic forms. While arcades and vaulting accentuate the sacred aspect, the surrounding garden forms a collective identity shared by the three religions.