Monday, 30 August 2010

On mosques and the World Trade Center

Irony abounds.

Via Alex Tabarrok (MR): The architect of the World Trade Center designed its plaza as "a mecca, a great relief from the narrow streets and sidewalks of the surrounding Wall Street area."
Yamasaki replicated the plan of Mecca's courtyard by creating a vast delineated square, isolated from the city's bustle by low colonnaded structures and capped by two enormous, perfectly square towers—minarets, really. Yamasaki's courtyard mimicked Mecca's assemblage of holy sites—the Qa'ba (a cube) containing the sacred stone, what some believe is the burial site of Hagar and Ishmael, and the holy spring—by including several sculptural features, including a fountain, and he anchored the composition in a radial circular pattern, similar to Mecca's.
View of a World Trade Center TowerView of the World Trade Center Plaza

There is much more in the original article, all fascinating.

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