Çamlıca Mosque


  • Architects: Aras Burak, Elif Demir
  • Engineers: Aris Kozmidis / ARUP


  • Location: Çamlıca, İstanbul / Turkey
  • Type: Competition
  • Client: T.C. Başbakanlık / Prime Minister of Turkey


The design of a mosque has always been a hot topic for discussion in Turkey. The arguments in terms of style are always trapped between the traditional vs. modern choice.

Our interest was to propose only a great space with no tricks of numbers, secret meanings, mystical decisions.

The greatest dome that can ever be imagined is the sky. Therefore we did not propose a new dome, instead: we proposed a window to the sky.

The site was lacking an urban context that can help us direct the building’s design. Instead of seeing our proposal as an urban structure, we were not ashamed to define it as a sculpture + mosque on Camlica Hill of Istanbul.

The semi-open dome is located between the open courtyard and the indoor space for prayers. This semi-open dome frames the sky with five openings. Funeral ceremonies are to take place here.

In plan, the building is divided into four parts, one semi-open dome, one open courtyard, one indoor space for prayers, and the last one as a social, secular space for conferences, activities.

These four sections are surrounded by the honeycomb-shaped units where hallways, staircases, and lifts are also located. This frame also incorporates the classrooms into the design.

The roof has a 100mm deep decorative pool to prevent access to the minaret and the semi-open dome’s sculptural part.

 The dome that is facing inwards is an outdoor amphitheater. Also for tourists, it could’ve been an ideal location to witness the time of praying. We tried to keep this quarter of the building’s accesses and program separate from the rest of the building. 

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