Israel 2000 - 2001
The Shehab El Din Mosque is located in a strategic point in the city of Nazareth-on the corner leading to the markets,churches and mosques of the old city. It also sits in the square directly below the main basilica of Nazareth_the Church of the Annunciation.
The competition reflected the Plan of Nazareth 2000. The site was defined by the presence of a maqquam -or tomb of the holy man. An international competition was established for a mosque to incorporate the maqquam on this particular corner site, at the entrance to Nazareth. This was a most controversial site. Yousef_Indyk studio were one of two architectural firms requested to proceed with the second stage of the competition.
'One definition of a mosque could be a building erected over an invisible axis, an axis which is none the less the principal determinant of its design…. The Kaaba , is the axis mundi of the islamic cosmology.…. It is the primordial symbol of the intersection between the vertical axis of the spirit and the horizontal plane of phenomenal existence.'
Yousef-Indyk design concept incorporated the maqquam free within the mosque courtyard with the mosque itself, spiralling upwards in its form, containing the courtyard tomb and minaret in a new architectural form.
The studio was inspired by the ancient environmental solutions of the middle east and reinterpreted them within the new mosque architecture, to ensure the coolth and light penetration within its form. Walls were perforated reinforced concrete stiffened by internal diaphragms.These double wall sections were lined with silver and gold leaf to reflect light,and were naturally lit above with glass skylights and ventilated to catch the prevailing winds as in the 'Malquaf'. THe northern wall of the main prayer hall was detailed in the style of the 'Mashrabiya' perforated wall system. The exterior of the building was clad with local stone.
Yousef and Indyk were keen to create a mosque of 2000 and not mimic ancient architectural solutions. Yousef-Indyk gained second place.The winning mosque design was commenced without planning approvals and was stopped in 2003.The building has not been built.