Architecture – Commissioned by The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, The Abrahamic Family House by Adjaye Associates will serve as a community for inter-religious dialogue and exchange, nurturing the values of peaceful co-existence and acceptance among different beliefs, nationalities and cultures. The complex will be located on the tip of Saadiyat Island, not far from Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi and Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim, now under construction.
“I’ve always seen these three religions as very different – it’s what we’re led to believe, but then you discover these incredible connections and overlaps that sit with these distinct differences. The evolution which then developed the narrative was to discover what was adjacent, surprisingly close even,” explains Sir David Adjaye. “The Form is translated from the three faiths, we use the lens to define what is similar as opposed to what is different.”
Within each of the houses of worship, visitors will have the opportunity to observe religious services, listen to holy scripture and experience sacred rituals. The fourth space – not affiliated with any specific religion – will serve as a center for all people of goodwill to come together as one. The community will also offer educational and event-based programming.
The three cubic buildings “with powerful plutonic forms” sit on a plinth creating a communal space. Though not aligned, they each have different orientations. The story then starts to become apparent through the power of the silhouette, unified with commonality and the articulation of the three forms.
These structures represent a safe space, each volume illustrated with colonnades, screens and vaults to represent the sacred nature. “Our discovery continued with the common ground, the public space in-between, where the difference connects. I saw the garden as a powerful metaphor, this safe space where community, connection and civility combine – this space exists between the three chambers, the three faiths”.
“The podium allows you to interact with each space, there’s no preventative threshold, and this way you dissolve the perceptions of not being included and encourage the celebration of this collective history & collective identity.”
All images: courtesy of Adjaye Associates.
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