Faith in Architecture
by Michael J. Crosbie
Each year, Faith & Form magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, & Architecture recognize outstanding design in completed projects through the Religious Art & Architecture Awards program.
This year's winners, marking the start of the new millennium, reflect the wealth of activity in the design and construction of sacred spaces throughout the United States for faith traditions well established in this country, as well as those just getting a foothold.
Just as the United States possesses the greatest collection of ethnic and cultural diversity on earth, it offers, too, the broadest collection of faith traditions drawn from every corner of the globe. Such variety clearly delighted the awards jury and is especially reflected in eight award-winning buildings.
Two projects in particular (both of them in Texas, as it happens) stand out in regard to representing different faiths that previously have not been abundantly represented in awards from past years.
Mosque and Megachurch in Texas
The Dawoodi Bohra Mosque in Dallas, designed by Oglesby-Greene Architects, is a refreshing interpretation of the architecture of this ancient and growing denomination. The design for the 13,500-square-foot (1250-square-meter) facility combines traditional Islamic architectural elements, Dawoodi Bohra customs, and modern forms and materials.
The small but growing sect of approximately 200 required a parsonage, dining hall, classrooms, and prayer hall. Each of these components was carefully planned in response to the 1.3-acre (0.5-hectare) wooded site.
Dawoodi Bohra Mosque in Dallas, designed by Oglesby-Greene Architects, was a winner of a Religious Art & Architecture Award.
Photo: Charles Davis Smith
Dawoodi Bohra Mosque floor plan.
Image: Oglesby-Greene Architects
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