Rotunda Mosque

Competition entry


Gaziantep, Turkey

Competition Team
Sabri Gokmen with Muhammed Aydem

Setting Up a Place of Worship Using Digital Tools

The mosque typology which has a historical, social, traditional and spiritual weight, is reinterpreted in an innovative way using digital tools to create an architectural connection with the past and the future. In the project, the symbolic meaning and spatial effect expected from the mosque is based on symmetry and structural elements such as dome, vaults and columns are interpreted in a holistic manner. The main purpose of the project is not only to define the mosque as a focal point sensitive to the traditions and values ​​of the society, but also to describe it as a typology in which different social activities can be integrated to the urban spaces (courtyard, square) it hosts.

The general design approach describes a constructivist building system that disperses from a single center, and recursively grows through fragmentation to creates structural bonds between different branches. Mosque programs such as prayer room, fountain, minaret and portico, which define the program centers, are reinterpreted through radial symmetry and geometrically connected to each other.


Mosque Morphology and Symmetry

The stereotomic-masonry construction technique, which is frequently encountered in historical examples in Islamic architecture, has created heavy and closed structures that have survived for centuries. Contrary to this building language, in the project a tectonic design that aimed to lighten the mosque form by thinning the structural elements according to the gravity and load distribution. Constructed as a prototype, the project is based on a system developed with digital design tools, and includes design elements that can adapt to different terrain, climatic conditions, social constructions and qıbla orientation.

The mosque is located on the land parcel according to the qibla axis and divides the topography into two programmatic layers while connecting them through the exterior spaces. On the ground floor, programs are associated with the courtyard of the mosque are featured such as services, shops and courses. Access to the mosque from the upper tier is provided via ramps and stairs, and a stoatic "portico" that surrounds the building wall defines a fluid outdoor circulation by connecting all the exterior spaces of the mosque.

Transportation for men and women to the place of worship has been set up independently of each other. Among these, the access to the women's court is connected to the lower level. Men, on the other hand, reach the place of worship from the courtyard where the ablution room and fountain are located, using a ladder placed inside the minaret. The courtyard is considered as a social place characterized with a radial fountain, commercial units, Koran course, minaret and plane tree. On the other hand, the square facing the qibla axis was designed as a urban landscape that can accommodate different programs.