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PUNCHBOWL MOSQUE

A timeless edifice, contextually sensitive while a contemporary masterpiece of constructed public space. The outdoor grounds of the building are as considered as the building and interior, with minimal surface planes, cantilevers and multiple levels sprawling all around.

The curvilinear roof swoops toward the ground, where its trajectory is followed by the curvature of the ground plane. This design decision orchestrates the people flow in and around the grounds, where there is much to explore. From the ground up the perspective view is encumbered by a perfectly sculptured skyline encouraging your gaze to flow all around. Looking ahead, the building invites you in by creating an embrace of ascending structure toward the entrance.

Each element of this edifice is adorned in texture, carefully placed it seems, to promote the directionality of the design. Once inside you are struck immediately by the painstakingly engineered ceiling, so beautifully crafted it bestows an artisan-like execution.  Natural light spills into the room as though from heaven above, creating a gradient of bright copper colour, so warm it softens the heavy alloy materials.

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Conceived of in two parts, the same design at different scales the building becomes a family, out of it pour many children and parents having just ended competitive sports. As they begin to congregate, the architecture landscape becomes alive and active, a sanctuary in bustling Tokyo for all.

I feel that if your imagination is plastic enough, you can see the fluid hand gestures of the brilliant architect Kenzo Tange enthusiastically marking the sketch pad, his epiphany moment that this building was first released from his mind and  into the real world.

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