Previously, we have talked about how modern architecture has played its crucial role in endowing definite design credentials to churches, like St Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel (in Finland) and the Cardedeu Chapel (in El Salvador). Well, this time around, technological flair has caught up with Islamic architectural styles – as is evident from the fascinating facades of the Al Aziz Mosque in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Showcasing its concrete ‘skin’ which seems opaque during the daytime, the mosque morphs into a meticulously-designed ‘artwork’ by night with its set of illuminated calligraphic patterns etched on the outer walls. This incredible external display of glowing calligraphy comprises 207 unique elements with Arabic letters that represent 99 different names of God (all done in accordance to Koran).
These concrete facades were crafted by APG Architecture and Planning Group, and each of these modules (weighing 660 lbs) consists of a LED system (furnished by LUCEM) that is inconspicuously housed along the rear-side of the panel. On the other hand, the slightly protruding Arabic letters are carefully arranged on the outer surfaces of the modules. So, when the system is activated, the light emanating from the LEDs is carried forth to the outer surfaces of the letters via optics. This results in the illumination of the calligraphic patterns, thus transforming the Al Aziz Mosque into an effulgent masterpiece with reverential undertones.
Interestingly, the entire scope is made weatherproof and sturdy, so as to adjust and adapt to the mercurial climate of Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, the element of lighting is seamlessly blended with the different types of natural stones used in variant sections of the Al Aziz Mosque. And lastly, the hues of the illumination are also regulated with the intrinsic ambiance during different parts of the days- For example, the LEDs display a warm-sand color during daytime, a more earthy tone during night, and a grayish tint during early morning.
Images Credit: LUCEM