National Award for Public Architecture

National Award for Public Architecture

Punchbowl Mosque
By Candalepas Associates

The jury was excited by the latest Aussie mosque in southwest Sydney, describing it as “a sublime essay” in concrete construction. The central dome of this year’s Sulman medal winner is lined with concentric wooden bands, and wooden touches add warmth to the largely raw concrete interior. The architecture is sensitive to the history of the dome, as an architectural form and presence in the monumental Pantheon and Hagia Sophia, in western Christianity, Orthodoxy and Islam. And yet it never loses sight of its congregation nor its purpose as a centre of devotion. The 102 small corbelled domes are pierced by pinhole skylights and will be inscribed with the 99 names for God in Islam. The exterior is a contemporary reworking of the mosque form: it looks to the past and the future and already has a singular presence in the here and now.