A really BIG mosque

A public plaza is formed by carving away the corners of the new buildings.

Just when you thought  architecture juggernaut Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG couldn’t win YET another commission in YET another country… the firm announced yesterday that it had beat out competitors including Zaha Hadid to lead the construction of a new cultural center in Albania’s capital, Tirana. The complex will consist of a mosque, an Islamic Centre, and a Museum of Religious Harmony.

The design team is made up of BIG, Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold, Speirs & Major lighting, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and Global Cultural Asset Management. A triangular site plan is divided into the three main components, all carved away to form a central plaza oriented toward Mecca. The public plaza, among other things, is meant to make the religion more “inclusive and inviting,” the firm said in a statement. And since it’s located next to the city’s newly-completed Orthodox and Catholic Cathedrals, it makes Tirana “an example for the rest of the world as a global capital of religious harmony.” Nobody said BIG didn’t aim high…

If you’d like a closer look the team has (of course) put together a video of their proposal, with music by The XX.

A rendering of the site seen from above.

The Plaza at night.

Inside the mosque.

Related Stories