Samad Vahora
Vadodara, Gujarat, India

The idea of the thesis started with the thought of learning Islam and its translation of the ideas into a praying space. Thus the inquiry leads to understanding the spiritual, spatial and cultural aspect of a mosque. The masjid being really simple in definition there were many challenges that had to face while designing. Such as, aesthetics, space, scale, proportion, placement in campus etc. This challenges helped me understand the built of a mosque better.

Architecture isn’t something that exists in isolation, it is deeply interwoven in culture, believes and rituals. Thus a built always has to be thought keeping this in mind. Culture and religious understanding helps in formulating an architectural language. The language later transforms into expression. This was the intangible aspect of designing. The tangible aspects such as structure, form, material, scale etc also comes into play. The integration of these tangible and intangible aspects that results into architecture.

Mosque Complex / Samad Vahora

For the tangible aspect like structure, form the things that came in handy were the regional context, holy numerics and most important the direction of Qibla. Also the structure and the outer expression are to be inter related thus in this case the structure itself helped in generating expression. As the figurative articulation is prohibited in the designing of mosque the pattern derived by intersecting geometric patterns helped in creating a jalli which became the faced and also a skin of en-closer for the mosque. Another important factor that governed the design was the idea of secularism. As there are a lots of co-existing temples on site the need to address them was must. Thus the placement of the mosque in the campus was governed by this aspect. mihrab and the axis perpendicular to it were placed in such a way that they are in a visual axis of these temple. Thus addressing that there is a same path that lead to the eternal power that created this world. Also, there was constant questioning the use of the traditional elements such as sahaan, mihrab, minbar and minaret. Thus resulting in re-thinking them. Thus these mixtures of thoughts and ideas helped me and lead me in my design process.

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