The Architettura Schiattarella Studio wins the Iconic Award in the Concept Category for the second year in a row.Concept.
This is not the first time that the Italian architecture studio wins an important prize. Indeed, last year, the firm won the Iconic Award for another major project, the Addiriyah Contemporary Art Center.
This year’s award goes to a broad-ranging and structured project located in Ha’il, in Saudi Arabia, designed for a complex having a double soul: religious and social. The mosque will rise along the King Abdul-Aziz Road with an area of 22,500 square meters and will host religious and educational functions and will be a landmark for the community. The complex develops around a central square, enclosed and cozy, which will be a meeting point. Access to the square is enabled through covered passages and small aired and shady courtyards. All around the plaza, there are commercial activities, coffee bars and little restaurants, whereas on the upper level there are offices, libraries, Koranic school and sports facilities for youngsters.
The volume of the Mosque, despite its dimensions, apparently seems floating on the water surrounding it. The diagonal cut at the center of the stone-made façade marks the symbolic passage from outside to inside, the doorstep between civilian and religious area, promising and allowing the owed purge/purification.
Place of meditation and sacredness, during the day, the main hall of the mosque is crossed by natural light seeping through along the perimeter in the intentionally empty space between the two walls, bouncing from one wall to the other and disappearing diagonally in the structure lighting it up in its lower boundary.
At sunset, artificial light follows the same path in reverse order, so that the building becomes a landmark from the outside and is visible from afar. Light increases its intensity while approaching the Mihrab to indicate directions towards Mecca.
The Best Concept prize will be collected by Schiattarella Associati at the Award Ceremony in the BMW Welt during the Expo Real in Munich on 4 October 2017.