Luca Simons

Luca Simons

Parc pour Droixhe. AAM (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

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Luca Simons

Plaine de Droixhe (1951-1979, EGAU) is an urbanisation plan based on the principles of the Charte d'Athènes. From 1980, the district lost its status, which lead to the demolition of seven flats. Today, the neighbourhood is rich in different ethnicities, but lacks a place where the residents can gather.

Looking into all religious buildings in Liège, the thing that stood out most were the rather invisible ‘’hidden mosques’’ (mosques in old shops, garages, houses, etc.). Although Islam needs no place -since any place where Muslims can pray can be seen as mosques- the physical space of a mosque is important as a symbol of recognition and visibility. It functions not only as a place of prayer, but also serves educational and social purposes.

The plan consists of redesigning the existing park by dividing it into numerous courtyards enclosed by walls -inspired by traditional Islamic architecture- which form the base of the plan. The three volumes complete the composition, giving the parc a head, a middle and a tail. This plan aims for a balance between respecting the rules and elements of mosques and reinterpreting them. As usual, the central prayer room is oriented towards Mecca, turned in relation to the rigid direction of the district. Men and women have their own floor, but their paths to prayer that circle around the central prayer room, are equal. The park connects both places of worship on both ground and lower level, freeing them from the religious context and providing a new function as community centre.

This plan aims to give visibility to the Muslim community by claiming space in the public park.

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