Rafael de La-Hoz proposes a habitable natural Oasis for The Noble Quran Oasis Competition in Madinah
‘References to gardens, fountains and streams are constant in the Quran... Madinah city does not ask for a building… but an Oasis’
The proposal is to highlight a striking Islamic Landmark to remain in the memory of the city´s visitors
If the aim is to celebrate the meaning of Madinah and the importance of Islam there is no better coherence than doing it through and for the Quran. Therefore the identity of this Cultural Center should emanate directly from the Quran. From the meaning of its lecture.
In the surahs there is no reference to any architectural typology.
Not to buildings or consecrated typologies. Not even the mosque is described in the Book. On the contrary, references to gardens, fountains and streams are constant in the Quran. “Who has given you gardens and fountains” Verse 134 26th Surah For these reasons, and with deep knowledge and intellectual coherence, Madinah city does not ask for a building... but an oasis. The Noble Quran Oasis - Al Madinah. It is not about a building. Nor even a garden. It is about creating the conditions which enable the surge of an oasis almost in a natural way and then inhabit it. No buildings, no gardens, but the oasis as the elemental architecture that arises directly from the Quran.
Taking into consideration the importance of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah as the second holiest place and being named as the Capital of Islamic Culture, the proposal is to highlight a striking Islamic Landmark to remain in the memory of the city´s visitors.
The theoretical concept was taken from the holiness of the Quran itself in which the book is never to touch the ground but to be lifted by one´s hands or placed on a base. The roof element embodies the holy pages of the Quran resting on the four buildings which reflect the human hand.
The central plate of the roof reflects the core of the Quran seen in every current cover of the holy book. The calligraphy seen in the plate is a Hadeeth taken from Prophet Mohammed PBUH. Additionally, an artistic approach of vectorizing the text has been applied as seen in the final decorated result. The symbolism of encouraging people to learn explore and increase vision is the driving force of such inspiration.
The central Oasis of the project, allows one to connect with nature amongst the calmness of water and greenery and to reflect upon all the learnt lessons and knowledge taken from the different components of the project.
The rest of the site is protected under the shadows projected by the roof providing a comfortable environment for pedestrians to walk around the site and celebrate different activities. Generally, the site layout, landscape and internal spaces have been designed to maximize interaction with nature and celebrate an inviting public building with an Islamic ambient.