A new interfaith complex called The Abrahamic Family House is being planned for Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. Adjaye Associates recently unveiled their winning proposal, which comprises of a mosque, synagogue, and church, all of which will be built upon a secular visitor pavilion. A project timeline is yet to be announced.
The three-building complex was inspired by the Document on Human Fraternity's humanitarian mission of mutual respect and dialogue across all backgrounds, beliefs and nationalities. It'll serve as a communal space for inter-religious dialogue and exchange among different beliefs, cultures, and nationalities, Adjaye Associates describes.
“My experience and learning with this project brought a clarity, I’ve always seen these three religions as very different – it’s what we’re led to believe, but then you discover these incredible connections and overlaps that sit with these distinct differences,” David Adjaye said in a statement. “The evolution which then developed the narrative was to discover what was adjacent, surprisingly close even. The Form is translated from the three faiths, we use the lens to define what is similar as opposed to what is different [...]”.
Featuring colonnades, screens, and vaults, each house of worship allows visitors to observe or partake in religious services. The fourth space is a secular area where people, religious or not, can gather. The complex will also offer educational and event programming to the public.
“We were led towards these powerful plutonic forms with a clear geometry, three cubes sitting on a plinth – though not aligned, they each have different orientations,” Adjaye continues.
“I saw the garden as a powerful metaphor, this safe space where community, connection and civility combine – this space exists between the three chambers, the three faiths. The podium allows you to interact with each space, there’s no preventative threshold, and this way you dissolve the perceptions of not being included and encourage the celebration of this collective history and collective identity,” Adjaye says.
Check out models of the project in the gallery below.
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