Mosque of Rome
The Mosque of Rome is the largest mosque outside the Islamic world, Russia and India. It was designed and directed by Paolo Portoghesi, Vittorio Gigliotti and Sami Mousawi.
Text from Wikipedia
Drawings from ArchiDIAP
The planning took more than ten years: the Roman City Council donated the land located in Parioli in 1974, but the first stone was laid only in 1984 and its inauguration was celebrated on 21 June 1995.
The structure is intended to be integrated into the surrounding green area, with a mix of modern structural design and omnipresent curves. Lights and shades are blended in order to create a meditative climate, and the choice of materials, like travertino and cotto, evoke traditional Roman architectural styles. The interior decor is mainly made of glazed tiles with light colors, with the recurrent Qur'anic theme "God is Light".
The interiors are decorated with simple yet beautiful mosaics creating more optical effects and the floor is covered by an extremely soft Persian carpet with geometrical patterns as well. The main prayer area can accommodate up to 2,500 worshipers. Above this are galleries that are reserved for female worshipers. The main prayer hall is topped by a large central dome over 20 meters in diameter, which is surrounded by 16 smaller domes. The complex also includes an educational area with classroom and a library, a conference center with a large auditorium, and an area where exhibitions are held.
The outcome is a fascinating architecture made of repetitious designs and amazing geometric patterns, where an important role is played by the light aimed to create a meditative atmosphere and various tricks of light as well.
The mosque contains several palm-shaped columns, which represent the connection between Allah and the single devotee.