Monday, October 22, 2007

Islamic Cultural Center - Behar

For the curious among you, here are some renderings of the ICC Behar mosque that I've been working on. It's an entirely concrete structure, complete with a concrete dome and minarets. The design team was invited to a fund raiser dinner, where I was asked to speak to a crowd of a few hundred about the design. I'm not one to shy away from public speaking, but trying to explain a fairly high concept architectural design through a translator was an interesting experience. You have to slow down and space your sentences into easily translated blocks. Explaining the magnificent mathematical perfection and historical references of a parabolic arch through a Bosnian translator; Forget about it.

I've often heard that in Europe architecture as a profession is given a great deal more respect than it gets in the United States. It certainly is the case with this Bosnian Islamic congregation. I've worked with some very grateful and pleased clients before; but the ICC Behar are wonderfully grateful and gracious clients who display an amazing heartfelt gratitude for all the work we've done for them. I wonder if part of that is rooted in the more European view of the profession of architecture.