Minidoc - OPEN CALL FOR A MOSQUE IN MILAN

Equal possibility to profess religion

Author Nicola Brembilla

Italy, Milan

Authors Nicola Brembilla

Equal possibility to profess religion

Strengths: There are 100.000 Muslims in Milan, but just one mosque of 200 square meters. For over 20 years the Islamic Community has struggled to find a way of building a mosque. The traditional iconography is hardly accepted by the people. Local administrators evade any definitive solution, because the “politics of fear” bring them votes. A Design Competition would give a cultural legitimation to the new mosque. The point will no longer be “do it or don't do it” but “how can We do it”.

Difficulties: The Muslim Community will buy an urban site, preferably in the city centre. An abandoned plot will be converted into a lush garden, with the mosque at its centre. Going beyond all of the historical stereotypes: The Mosque will be essential, functional and intrinsically elegant, like only the best of Milanese design. Having an “inclusive identity” rather then an “exclusive identity”.

Extra information: Few guidelines will be set up for designers: the garden, as an element of visual and acoustic insulation; the orientation toward Mecca; the spaces dedicated to ablutions and shoe deposits; the prayer hall, conceived as being equal for both women and men. Mosques will be able to quietly find their place in the urban tissue. In the Qur'an it is written: "Build your house so that the facade does not arouse the envy of your neighborhood".

Urbaninform

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