The Abrahamic Family House is a project of Safdie Architects to present the idea of “Diversity Within Unity”. This architecture project aims to being together a synagogue, a mosque, and a church within a shared public park. Located in Saadiyat Island Cultural District, the design of each religion’s unique and specific worship space would evoke history, traditions, and rituals of particular religion where all of them can be seen together forming an integrated and unified house.
Each of these worship halls has been conceived as a variation of the sphere, because it is considered as a sacred form. Sphere symbolizes oneness, the equity before God of all who worship. All, unique shapes such as dome and circle, those are based on symbols in sacred buildings of all Abrahamic religions.
Safdie Architects explains that The Abrahamic Family House sets in a body of water to create an oasis in the desert environment. It makes sense since water is the embodiment of life. Those three worship halls reflect in the pond, creating a sense of magical weightlessness, seeking the ephemeral. These building touch the earth lightly as they rise toward heaven, shimmering in light.
The Mosque, Synagogue, and Church are entered off a common plaza that lean-on the principle gateway. People can arrive at the Plaza to worship at different times, which will sometimes mingle in the entry piazza.
The Mosque is located on the axis of Mecca (or towards the West), the Synagogue is located on the axis facing Jerusalem, while the Church with more flexible tradition of orientation, faces the North. Public arrives at the visitor center that’s placed below this Piazza, in the cool shelter within the pond.
The three halls feature common construction methodology and treatment of materials. The structure is in-part opaque and in-part translucent to bring in soft-filtered light inside the building. At night, the lattice structures transform into beautiful, giant lanterns of the landscape.