An ongoing project seeks to promote positive interaction between adherants of different faiths
Berlin has an unhappy history when it comes to accommodating non-Christian religions, and the rest of Europe is treating synagogues and mosques in a way that balefully echoes this past. So what better place to set an example of a more positive interaction between adherents of different faiths than on the site of a church that was burnt by the SS and demolished following the Second World War – and which, itself, stood on the site of Berlin’s first medieval church? The idea of replacing it with a more-inclusive facility was first dreamt up by the church authorities in 2008; Kühn Malvezzi won an international design competition in 2012. The projected building consists of three separate spaces grouped around a towering central volume, which permits ‘unity in diversity’: the Jewish element is a lozenge, the Islamic element square and the Christian rectangular. The first two are equipped with galleries to permit gender segregation; the Islamic space has ablution facilities and the Christian space an organ. Rather than simply expressing a hope that proximity will breed amity, the central zone will be used to host events that encourage interaction. Funds are being raised to begin construction.
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