Berlin House of One: The first church-mosque-synagogue?

from BBC News: Berlin thinks it is making religious
history as Muslims, Jews and Christians join hands to build a place where they
can all worship. The House of One, as it is being called, will be a synagogue, a
church and a mosque under one roof.


An architecture competition has been held and the winner chosen. The striking
design is for a brick building with a tall, square central tower. Off the
courtyard below will be the houses of worship for the three faiths – the
synagogue, the church and the mosque. It is to occupy a prominent site –
Petriplatz – in the heart of Berlin.


The location is highly significant, according to one of the three religious
leaders involved, Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin. “From my Jewish point of view the city
where Jewish suffering was planned is now the city where a centre is being built
by the three monotheistic religions which shaped European culture,” he told the
BBC.


Can they get on? “We can. That there are people within each group who can’t
is our problem but you have to start somewhere and that’s what we are
doing.”


The imam involved, Kadir Sanci, sees the House of One as “a sign, a signal to
the world that the great majority of Muslims are peaceful and not violent”. It’s
also, he says, a place where different cultures can learn from each other.


Each of the three areas in the House will be the same size, but of a
different shape, architect Wilfried Kuehn points out.


“Each of the singular spaces is designed according to the religious needs,
the particularities of each faith,” he says. “There are for instance two levels
in the mosque and the synagogue but there’s only one level in the church. There
will be an organ in the church. There are places to wash feet in the
mosque.”


He and his team of architects researched designs for the three types of
worshipping place and found more similarities than expected.