Design team: Arash Aliabadi- Afshin Farzin- Amin Tadj- Saman Shams- Sakhi Shirmohammadi
Collaborator: Pooya Tarh Shahr Consulting Engineers
Location: Shiraz, Iran
Client: Shiraz Municipality
Site area: 400’000 M2
Design area: 100’000 M2
Building type: Cultural
The program of the competition was to design the Shiraz great mosque; a place where beside accommodating religious ceremonies and rituals integrates series of urban facilities such as library, city gathering hall, cultural and recreational centers and religious school. To avoid the interference between different functions we devided the program into 2 zones based on the geometry of given site. Both zones were to participate in the daily life of the city. The first zone is devoted to the great mosque which is accessible from the main street and is capable of accommodating huge amounts of the participants during ceremonies, while the second zone is devoted to cultural and urban activities which demand a calmer atmosphere. Both zones are designed as an urban continuum, the first zone encloses a public courtyard which connects to urban fabric by three entrances and the second zone which is located on a pilot by lifting the building mass on one hand prepares a calmer atmosphere for side activities while on the other hand maintains the continuity of urban activities on the ground area and also provides the great mosque with a huge foyer which is necessary to ceremonies program.
The challenge in designing the architecture of the mosque was the way we were to deal with the traditional conventions of architecture. Obviously when it comes to religious architecture in Islamic tradition the clients are much closed to innovative forms. The only way to make a bridge on the gap between the traditional form =s and orders and the reality of the dynamic modern society the mosque was due to serve was to reinterpret the old typologies which are meaningful to rituals such as Eyvan, Shabestan, Dome, Mehrab and Menerate and then manipulate the geometry of the forms based on spatial, formal or climatic requisites of the each.