Mosque and cultural centre 2015
Heilbronn | Germany

Task: Cultural Centre and Mosque in Heilbronn
Client: DITIB Türkisch Islamische Gemeinde zu Heilbronn e.V.
Tender: Study contract 1st grade – in process

Architecture: Bernardo Bader Architects
Team: Axel Baudendistel, Christina Schlüter,  Andreas Rosian
Floor space: 3700 m²

New culturally sensitive aesthetics

The new building is slightly recessed from Weinsberger Straße, taking a clear and precise urban position vis-a-vis the neighboring structure to the east. This results in an appropriately dimensioned forecourt which establishes an urban link to the building line of the building complex to the west. The main entrance, the restaurant and the shops are oriented almost naturally to this square, forming an important informal hub between the Turkish community and the township of Heilbronn.

Traditional elements such as interior courtyard, water and minaret establish a plethora of qualities on all floors. The relationship to the various spaces and the included courtyard is ideally suited for celebration and social gathering.

From the outside, the cultural center presents itself with a robust but finely textured concrete building envelope which encompasses the courtyard around the foundation level in the manner of a surrounding wall.  A delicate ornament on the upper floors lends structure and elegance to the building.  As a contrast to the concrete surfaces, metal components made of structural bronze are inserted around the windows, the dome and the minaret. They partly cover the windows as metal plating or create effect – interspersed with ornaments – as filters for the dome and the minaret.

In contrast to the building envelope, the spaces inside the building feature soft materials. The prayer room will be finished with white stained, delicate rough-sawn wood. By pairing warm, bright and especially natural hues of color and fabrics, a subtle room ambiance is created that appeals to the tactile senses.

This design is an example of a new, culturally-sensitive aesthetics which unifies regional, Islamic and European architectural styles.