The House of One is a contemporary expression of religious life and as such must be expressed in an equally modern architectural language. With this in mind, the initiators placed an enormous amount of importance on the architectural competition.
The House of One
A building that will be home to the world’s three monotheistic religions will grow from the foundations of the churches that once stood on Petriplatz.
A hall with eight-meter-high ceilings will contain the archeological findings connected to the Petriplatz churches.
Shell and ground floor:
The lower ground floor of the building is the archaeological area, which will be visible from the arcade through large windows. The area is a tangible reflection of the city’s past and symbolizes the history of the three religions in Berlin. Exhibitions will tell the story of both of these aspects of local history. The main entrance and foyer will be located on the ground floor.
The three separate holy rooms are arranged around the central hall. The synagogue, a name that literally means house of assembly (Beit Knesset), is a place of prayer where individuals can celebrate in the community. It is also a house of learning (Beit Midrash). Following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 CE, synagogues built to face the city were adopted as alternatives to the temple.
The three separate holy rooms are arranged around the central hall. The church is where the Christian community holds their religious services. During the services, the congregation seeks God’s fellowship by giving thanks and praying in word and song. The church is also used for individual and shared Christian celebrations, and serves as a place of teaching where followers go to learn about their faith.
The three separate holy rooms are arranged around the central hall. For Muslims, the mosque is a place of retreat and deep reflection. The mosque (masjid) faces the Kaaba in Mecca and is a place of communal prayer, especially during festivals and religious holidays. It is also a place of shared learning (madrasa) where people can come together and exchange ideas.
The central hall
The central hall is the largest room in the building. It will serve as a place of meeting – a kind of intervening space that will encourage dialogue between the three religions – and as a place where secular society and religion can engage with one another on equal footing. Religion, art, culture, and academic study will all act as curators of this space.
The House of One. Three Religions, One Home:
A loggia above the central hall will open onto the city. Standing 32 meters above the ground, it will give visitors beautiful views over Berlin.
The architectural competition
In 2012, architects from around the world were invited to participate in the competition. The challenge was to come up with a new type of structure for something that no one had ever attempted before.