Islamic cemetery completed in Austria

Bernardo Baden Architects has recently completed the Islamic Cemetery located in the Altarch district of Vararlberg, Austria.

The building, made from red-tinted concrete, includes a prayer space, five burial grounds, assembly halls and an area for ritual washing.

The prayer room welcomes visitors at the entry and is completed by a long rectangular oak wood window which extends across the building’s façade and displays filigree framework inspired by Islamic mashrabiya-patterned screens.

Its interior space was designed by Azra Aksamija, and includes a Qibla wall and six beige/brown prayer rugs that were hand-woven in a kilim workshop in Sarajevo.

Centred on the concept that Austria’s immigrant and host Muslims should coexist spiritually, the Qibla wall brings together different cultures through its material choice, such as the three stainless steel mash curtains that carry wooden shingles, and its design which references traditional Islamic architecture.

Above the Qibla wall is an additional layer known as “muqarnas,” which honours prominent Ottoman design and displays the words “Allah” and “Mohammed” written in Kufic script.

The cemetery’s graveyards are aligned in an angled succession, with each one containing several trees, benches and small patches of grass.

The Islamic Cemetery has been shortlisted for the Aga Khan Award 2013.


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