• Modern construction aids Kocatepe Mosque's spiritual purpose


    When construction began on the Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara, Turkey, complaints were heard from all sides. Some critics decried it for being too constrained by traditional religious structures that the country was growing less reliant on, while others said that its bold design was too modern for a place of worship. However, today the mosque is celebrated by aficionados of design and Asia travel both as an achievement of 20th​-century engineering and as a shining example of Islamic architecture.

    According to the Beautiful Mosques Gallery, work on the Kocatepe Mosque was halted almost as soon as it began due to pressure from those who felt that it was too modernistic. It took years for another design to be chosen, this time by Vedat Dalokay, an architect who had won a competition to design a mosque in Pakistan. The building's new shape pleased both people who yearned for a traditional religious building and those who preferred a more forward-looking approach.

    Kocatepe Mosque benefited in many ways from its dual influences. The Architectural Science Review reported on how the mosque's unique construction affects those who worship there. Researchers there found that, though its concrete dome makes spoken prayer more difficult to understand, the building has excellent acoustics for music. In that way, the mosque's 20th-century architecture complements its ancestral purpose, rather than contradicting it.

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