The news: In what may be the first time in recorded history, Christians, Jews and Muslims may soon all be praying under the same roof. Berlin recently announced the winner of an architecture competition to design what they’re calling the House of One, a house of worship designed to accommodate the three major Abrahamic faiths.
Architect Wilfried Kuehn and his team won the competition with their design of a tall, centered tower and four part structure. The building is planned to occupy a prominent site, Petriplatz, in the center of Berlin.
Kuehn told the BBC that each of the individual spaces will be designed for the “particularities of each faith.” That means two levels in the mosque and synagogue, an organ in the church and places for washing feet in the mosque. Kuehn also noted that designing the space made him realize the architectural similarities among the three faiths:
“What’s interesting is that when you go back a long time, they share a lot of architectural typologies. They are not so different. It’s not necessary for instance for a mosque to have a minaret — it’s only a possibility and not a necessity. And a church doesn’t need a tower. This is about going back to the origins when these three faiths were close and shared a lot architecturally.”
The location has history: The location where the structure might be constructed is the former site of St. Petri’s Church, the first church ever constructed in Berlin in the 12th century. Damaged by World War II and the Battle of Berlin, East German authorities demolished its remains in the postwar period. Six years ago, archaeologists recovered the remains of an ancient burial site from beneath the church’s foundations, spurring the modern push to redevelop the site… see more