Amir Shakib Arslan Mosque
Moukhtara, Lebanon, 2016

TOTAL FLOOR AREA
100 sqm

LEFT TEAM
Makram el Kadi, Ziad Jamaleddine 
Gentley Smith (PA), , Rafah Farhat, Elias Kateb, Alex Palmer,  Shun-Ping Liu, Melissa Sofian, Tong Shu

CONSERVATION ARCHITECT / OWNER REPRESENTATIVE
Arch. Zaher Ghossaini

STEEL CONTRACTOR
ACID

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS
L.E.FT

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
Antoine Bou Chedid

CALL TO PRAYER
Lawrence Abu Hamdan & Nisrine Khodr

CARPET DESIGN
Lawrence Abu Hamdan with LEFT Architects

PHOTOGRAPHY
Photos 1-4: Ieva Saudargaite
Photos 5-8: Iwan Baan

The design for the Amir Shakib Arslan mosque in the village of Mukhtarah, Lebanon,  occupies a renovated cross vaulted space with the addition of a steel structure and a plaza in front.

The slender minaret is formed of thinly sliced steel plates, angled in the direction of Makkah, and linked horizontally through a canopy to a curved wall delineating the entry to the mosque. Atop the minaret, the word Allah (God) is folded biaxially from the minaret, becoming a structural calligraphy rather than a traditional ornamental applique. Seen from one side, Allah is read as solid, from the other side, Allah is read as a void. 

Below, at the entry to the mosque, the word Insan (Human Being) is added to the steel plates, to create a Hegelian dialectic of God/Man, putting humanity as an integral part of the equation with God, as a reminder of the humanistic tradition of Islam.

The fight against fundamentalism is above all a cultural war of ideas, and architecture is one of its weapons.

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