Melbourne – The National Gallery of Victoria’s latest exhibition explores how placemaking can foster intercultural understanding in communities.
Designed by renowned Australian architect Glenn Murcutt, the new building of the Australian Islamic Centre is intended to promote intercultural understanding and provide a new type of community worship space when it opens later this year. The decade-long project, revealed in the exhibition Glenn Murcutt: Architecture of Faith, involved Murcutt working closely and consulting with Islamic architects, imams and the local community as well as the Newport Islamic Council.
The architecture of the building proposes a new visual typology for Islamic architecture, replacing traditional elements of found in a mosque such as minarets and a dome with a minimal structure, topped with a maze of translucent geometrical forms that cover the roof and let colour-tinted light into the building.
By respectfully re-imagining Islamic visual conventions for contemporary Australia, the project aims to reposition places of worship within the structure of the city and to create a culturally accessible space for the whole community.
As local communities learn to embrace growing cultural diversity, urban and architectural strategies are pivotal in creating greater understanding and fostering connection. For more on the importance of placemaking in the digital age, download our free Placemaking Summit Report.