Designed by the prestigious architect Necip Dinç, the Kirikkale Merkez Nur mosque is in the city of Kirikkale in Central Anatolia (Turkey). Finally completed in 2015, the huge structure has an interior area of 26,000 m2 and can hold up to 10,000 people. The mosque has a role as a religious symbol of the city, during both night and day, so the lighting design needed to highlight and demonstrate the spiritual identity of the building at night.
What was your main creative motivation/inspiration for the mosque project?
Our lighting design work started with a few simple questions: could we really use light to add emotion to the building? Does light really have the power to influence people? Our answers to these became our main motivation throughout the design stage.
What is the spirit of the lighting on this project?
Mysticism. We used ‘light’ and ‘shadow’ to add a mystic appearance to the building and to give form and definition to it by lending contrast at various points throughout the structure. For example, the incident light coming from a short distance away added three-dimensionality to the onion-shaped mini domes on the carrier columns by creating heavy shadows and allowed sparkles on the little crescents. Whereas the half-domes were left in the dark, the patterned windows underneath were lit. The big windows in the lower half of the mosque were accentuated by the lighting up of narrow beams, while creating sharp dark surfaces between them. We achieved dramatic effects on the columns with muqarnas on top by projecting narrow beams from a short distance.