By Andrea Monedero…
This year, the rapidly expanding Sultanate of Oman has announced the creation of a new large-scale religious and urban development: Twenty-five mosques will be built on the seaside on the northern coast.
Architect Dominic Dubé from DDIR has been invited to design this new project that forms part of the country’s cosmopolitan vision framed by its cultural and religious identity.
By bringing together traditional materials and advanced technology, Dominic is looking forward to create a unique profile for prayer and peace for the community.
The sculpture acts as a light screen displaying texts of the Koran; the glass cube and the steel structure reflect the shadows of complex geometrical motifs creating dynamic patterns of light during the daytime.
As an allusion to the metric patterns of Islamic architecture as fractal geometry, Dominic has considered three different sculptures based on three basic shapes.
It’s not the first time these particulars forms have emerged in Dominic’s designs. In the last article Dominic talked about how he has used his profession as a painter as inspiration for his architectural work… and how he has literally given tridimensional life to his painting strokes. You are no longer looking, you are inside the shape, he said.
To this subtle immersion of art in his architectural works, Dominic finds a source of superior presence beyond the limits of the physical space.
In this occasion, the architect has shared four different projects where functionality and art have come together to bring poetry into the design.
In 2009, Dominic participated in the design competition for the school of architecture and planning in Delhi. Seven circular elements appeared on his first sketch when visiting the site.
In the terrace these elements became meditation chambers for students. The repetitive facades around the structures add a new sensorial experience by resonating whistling sounds with the wind.
In 2003, Dominic developed the proposal for a building tower in Mumbai with the combination of 4 extruded shapes. Each structure is a container of 20 levels and the natural voids remaining from the sculpture wrapping became sources of interior light.
In 1999, Dominic developed a proposal for a resort in the coral islands of the Maldives. These are pieces of land that may disappear after 20 years depending on the reef currents. Suspended on water, the body of the lodgings was produced through experimentation with the same shapes.
Yet, the initial manifestation of these three shapes didn’t appear as a tridimensional form. The first time Dominic had a connection with these elements was in 1996, it happen through his painting profession and it is deeply rooted to India. Architecture was the mean through which he gave life to his paintings.
When coming to this country, Dube was seduced at first glance by the shapes of the Indian Kolam. The Kolam also known as Rangoli, is a very beautiful decoration drawn in rice flour or chalk which you can find in many houses throughout India. Women design Kolams in their houses entranceways in the early morning as an invitation to welcome guests and to invoke prosperity.
The painter’s reinterpretation and simplification of the Kolam got materialized through these three figures that kept finding a spot in his canvas. Surprisingly, a special collaborative encounter occurred in 1996 when Dominic Dubé came across Swiss jewelry artist named Nadja Lockshmin and they noticed the same shapes were predominant in each other works. Dominic and Nadja joined their different ways of expression to set up an exhibit. Through this meaningful collaboration, Dominic’s figures abandoned their canvas for the first time and became a collection of 15 tabletops. The crafted golden jewelry was set up on Dominic’s paintings and together they created a symbolic and mesmerizing visual composition.
Andrea Monedero is an architect, a multidisciplinary designer and storyteller born in El Salvador. She has a postgraduate degree in Milan and is currently travelling around India.
All images are courtesy of DDIR.