Born in Iran and raised in Australia, Fari Hatam is an embodiment of that which is both traditional and contemporary. His education was a blend of Western theory but his focus was on how the main components of Islamic architecture could be transformed into a contemporary context. It was only after he sought in vain to find successful examples of the latter did Hatam find his calling.

“I started looking around the Middle East and I realised that no one is doing anything that is both contemporary and Islamic—at least not at this level,” explains Hatam. “Islamabad [Pakistan] has had an attempt at it; Hagia Sophia and some of the other examples in Istanbul are also very intriguing. But that was it. It was then that I became fascinated with how to properly design a mosque.”

Drawing inspiration from the myriad bridges, mosques and plazas of his birthplace, Esfahan, Iran, Hatam’s Dubai Mosque captures the essence of the dualist language of what can be called a Contemporary Islamic style. More than an architectural showcase, even today, Esfahan can provide important tutelage to newer cities—namely Dubai and Abu Dhabi—trying to preserve their indigenous history and culture amidst rapid modernisation and an amalgam of architectural styles.

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