David Adjaye's design for Abrahmic Family House in Abu Dhabi sets a mosque, church and synagogue in a single plot
Adjaye Associates, founded and led by British-Ghanian architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, has unveiled the design for the new Abrahamic Family House located in Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island, which is set to comprise a mosque, a church and a synagogue.
The project was unveiled at a global gathering of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity at the New York Public Library and is part of mission of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed by His Holiness Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, His Eminence Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, in Abu Dhabi during the Papal visit in February this year.
The Abrahamic Family House will be home to a mosque, a church and a synagogue as well as a collective space for all three faiths for the first time, serving as a community for inter-religious dialogue and exchange, nurturing the values of co-existence among various beliefs, nationalities, and cultures.
The winning project proposes separate worship spaces for each religion as well as a shared space for collaboration and informal gathering.
"Built in the UAE’s capital, the space will be open to the world, and our hope is that through these buildings people of all faiths and from across society can learn and engage in a mission of peaceful coexistence for generations to come," said Adjaye of the project.
"As an architect I want to create a building that starts to dissolve the notion of hierarchical difference – it should represent universality and totality – something higher that enhances the richness of human life. We hope we have set out a plan for a beautiful and thought-provoking space that celebrates the three faiths and stimulates dialogue and understanding at a critical time for the world," he added.
Adjaye also spoke about the role of architecture in fostering unity and dialogue: "I believe architecture should work to enshrine the kind of world we want to live in, a world of tolerance, openness, and constant advancement. Architecture and landscape design can interpret the fabric and principles of a place, to advance the conversation, reassess current assumptions about the world, and discover more meaningfully what a place can give back."