International Competitions in Architecture
A HOUSE FOR ISHMAEL
It was just yesterday that the great festival Eid Al-Adha ended, in the Muslim world.
The Festival of Sacrifice.
Maybe we need more sacrifices in this world, the kind the postman in Tarkovski’s film “The Sacrifice” makes, when offering an old and precious map as a gift to the main character, whose protests that he couldn’t accept a gift that was a sacrifice, receive the following reply: “What gift would it be, if it is not a sacrifice…?”
At a much deeper level, the willingness for sacrifice of both Abraham and Ishmael (as the Arab world sees it) cannot be forgotten or ignored, even after so very many years that passed.
An “intriguing” part of another great film, “Fanny and Alexander” by Ingmar Bergman, Alexander has at one moment a strange encounter with a “mad” character named Ismael, who was kept locked in a room, and who sang at night… a mysterious and very beautiful part of the movie, when Bergman’s genius and religious “appetite” show themselves with full force.
What did Bergman want to say through that fragment…?
Ismael was beautiful, almost surreally so. We read in the Bible that Ishmael’s hand was to be against everybody and that everybody’s hand was to be against him (mentioned in the movie as well). Was his “being wild” the result of the fact that he was only half a “legitimate” son…? A result of the fact that his mother, Hagar, was an Egyptian woman and Sarah’s maid…? Would this fact explain Ishmael’s “otherness…?”
In Bergman’s movie the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Ismael is surrounded by books, in a magnificent disorder, he is locked up in his cell and he sings at night.
What a Romantic, deeply moving character…!?!
We need again to be inspired by the very roots of our religions… with an “s” at the end.
Design a House for ISHMAEL.
Design THE HOUSE OF SACRIFICE.
Plunge into your remote past, dear architect and try to reconnect with what thousands of years couldn’t erase.
How would A HOUSE FOR ISHMAEL look like…?
How would THE HOUSE OF SACRIFICE…?
Why do Arabs think that Ishmael is their ancestor…?
What did Bergman want to say through that magnificent cinematic fragment in his beautiful film “Fanny and Alexander…?” And why did he choose for Ismael an obviously androgynous beauty…?!?
And, to go to another Northern country, what did Kierkegaard really feel and think, obsessed as he was by Abraham and the idea of sacrifice…????????????
Please try to reflect on these very important issues and to express them into a building:
A HOUSE FOR ISHMAEL.
We launch this competition (with yourself and the others) one day after the great festival Eid Al-Adha - 2010, ended.
Please send us ANY work, ANY size and ANY format that responds to the theme to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will publish all the works received on our website, www.icarch.us. The deadline is February 1st, 2010. If you have any questions, please contact us.