Purpose-built mosques in Copenhagen: Visibility, Publicity and Cultural Dispute

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Abstract

The paper comes out of a case study within the framework of a larger project titled “Paradoxical spaces: Encountering the Other in public space”. The case is developed around the cross-cultural encounters provoked by the enhanced public visibility of Islam occasioned by the recent construction of purpose-built mosques in Copenhagen. The public visibility is a manifestation of religious differences that cannot be thought independent of the materiality of culture; namely aesthetic forms, dress codes and architectural genres. Cultural encounters are mediated through the materiality, the aesthetic form and the location of the mosques.

In the paper we explore both similarities and differences in the way the material culture of the mosques are planned and received by the public. Today, three purpose-built mosques exist in the Copenhagen area, and they differ in terms of architectural form, age and history, neighbourhood types and planning process. This variation seems to have consequences to the degree and form of cultural dissonance and political dispute. The paper provides a qualitative, comparative exploration of these differences in order to understand the ways in which these mosques are received in public, how this reception varies, and what lessons that can be learned from these meetings as regards possibilities/limitations for, and co-existence in, the city.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Architectural Research
Volume29
Issue number1
ISSN1893-5281
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

The research is funded by the Danish Research Council under the Grant DFF 1327-00077.

Cite this