The Dubai-based firm, X-Architects, have found inspiration in the cultural and architectural heritage of Islam for their new design. The Revelation Mosque, a +2500 square meter project, aims to create a new “heart of the neighborhood” in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In creating a generous urban void among a towering context, the proposal offers an immersive escape from everyday life, where the public (regardless of religion) can gather, communicate, and interact with one another.
The design of the large, asymmetric dome has three core functions. Its form both references traditional Mosque typologies and symbolizes the Jabal Al Noor, a spiritual mountain where the Quran was said to have been revealed. Its simple plan maximizes the public space at the street level, aiming to draw visitors in and point towards the Qibla direction for prayer. While the stepped, spiral facade floods the interiors with a soft glow of diffused light. A water feature wraps around the dome’s front as the Minaret organically rises at its back, emphasizing the concept of an urban oasis where the architect hopes the building can “connect the earth with the sky.”
The main prayer space has distinct cave-like qualities in its irregular, textured concrete walls, where domes are concealed within domes. This imagery continues into the public entrances that are carved into the facade at strategic points, “to generate an active social public space in the middle of the dense urban fabric.” A footbridge gives access to the central dome over the recessed topography, which itself creates a shaded amphitheater; all decisions made to maximize the potential for social interaction on the outside while maintaining a peaceful setting for prayer on the inside.
Specializing in the merge of Arab culture and modern design, X-Architects undertake research that supports the contextual sensitivity showcased in their work. The practice has several projects currently under construction, with the Revelation Mosque scheduled to be built soon.
Design Team: Ahmed Al-Ali, Farid Esmaeil, Cristian Vivas, Marija Krsmanovic, Piyush Bajpai, Yazeed Obeid, Samar Halloum, Abdullah Bashir, Nazish Khushrudin, Mina Eldaba, Staffan Svensson, Micro Urban, Hala Al Juboori, Emerson Angeles