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Far from the iconic monuments of the Sydney Harbour exists an edifice situated in a vibrant precinct that for too long, went without a sufficient mosque.  After many years in planning the funding was raised and approval was received, finally a mosque to rival all neighbourhood mosques was then erected. Named after the area it resides, Punchbowl Mosque not only elevates a rather uneventful street with its incredible architecture but also provides a sanctuary for worshippers to sit and debrief the weekly grind

Simple materials have been manipulated into splendour, decorated with absolute elegance, refined details give a contemporaneous hue on an ancient faith. Profound in its ability to address fundamental criteria, elements that make the edifice functional as a beacon of the faith are elevated through simplicity. Punchbowl was designed by an architect who truly understood the environmental, the emotional and intellectual context, therefore managing to delicately manoeuvre ancient old elements into a modern era.

In visiting an Edifice belonging to a religion, often the stock standard representations can become stale. Church of the Light by Tadao Ando, La Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi, Stykkisholmur Church by Jón Haraldsson are some modern examples of what explosive dynamics exist between religion and architecture still today. It is evident throughout history, the passionate and loyal followers of religions all over the world believed that the divine was found in perfection and perfection was found in nature. This led to such things as motifs carved in marble or painstakingly hand- inlayed with gemstones. Some building timelines extending hundreds of years in some cases only to be continued by the undying loyalty to the faith.

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No expenses spared, lives upon lives dedicated to reaching God through the beauty of physical perfection and here in the example of Punchbowl Mosque we can see still the yearning to reach God through perfection. It may not be through obvious cues upon nature however, the divine perfection can be discovered through the mere circle and the square and here it is in abundance.  Symmetry, proportion, composition and light can be viewed as a recursive pattern of design method, which when applied at any scale can produce the same optimum level of integrity in design.   

The people who agreed to provide a tour throughout the building were the foundations of its integrity. Architecture here has proven to provide for the people and the people too provide for the architecture and imbue its significance upon it. The powerful exchange of consciousness between the edifice and its uses is evidence of a successful project.


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