The Crown of Esfahan
The work presents a contemporary dome design for a mosque in Iran. Exhibited as a single artefact for the 2010 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition; the work aims to explore a notion of ornament as architectural object, apposed to an applied surface ornamentation or decoration. Combining CAD modelling and fabrication with traditional silversmith techniques the work aims to develop a digitally crafted artefact. The process involves the ‘unfolding’ of complex 3 dimensional digital models in to flat triangulated panels which can then be acid etched out of sheet brass and reconstructed by hand. The design of the dome reinvents the traditional islamic geometric dome as a series of deep appertures or funnels, connected to the outside skin of the building, which brings in indirect light into the mosque. The variance in illumination caused by the movement of the sun throughout the day, creates constantly changing spatial conditions inside the prayer hall.
Exhibition: Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition, London 2010: Peer selected by David Chipperfield Authorship: As part of a joint architectural practice saraben-studio, Ben Cowd and Sara Shafiei contribute equally to the research.
Research Institute : Institute of Architecture
Peer Reviewed : Yes