2018 National Architecture Awards: National Award for Public Architecture

Punchbowl Mosque by Candalepas Associates Public Architecture: National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Punchbowl Mosque is a sublime essay in the potency of in situ concrete. The mosque is singularly defined by its intimate but simultaneously dramatic prayer room with a floating array of corbelled bisected hemispherical domes. Although to be completed in stages, the project already has a presence.

The dome array, which was also created in one pour, culminates in a floating central oculus of radial and stepped concrete, then timber, that hovers on its own glow of light. As in most spiritual spaces, the gaze is continually drawn to the heavens above.

The corbelling and the contingent play of perspective in some moments echo the relieving arches of the Pantheon while also emulating the light quality experienced in much larger and older mosques. The use of hemisphere domes as a motif or texture also references the architectural history of the dome as a structural technology. Cascading domes conjure up another time and place and it is this ploy of redefining timelessness that makes this project profoundly clever as it responds to the challenge of connecting a contemporary piece of architecture to the architectural history of a religion.

Punchbowl Mosque will be reviewed by Mark Raggatt in a future issue of Architecture Australia.


Candalepas Associates
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Angelo Candalepas (design architect), Adrian Curtin (project architect), Evan Pearson, Jeremy Loblay, Nichole Darke (architects)
Access consultant Marshall Day Acoustic
Acoustic consultant Accessibility Solutions
BCA consultant Blackett Maguire and Goldsmith
Builder Builder Infinity Construction
Electrical and mechanical engineer Jones Nicholson Consulting Engineers
Fire consultant Innova Services
Geotechnical consultants JK Geotechnik
Hydraulic consultant Jones Nicholson Consulting Engineers
PCA Blackett Maguire and Goldsmith
Planning consultant SJB Planning
Quantity surveyor Napier and Blakeley
Stormwater consultant Jones Nicholson Consulting Engineers
Structural engineer Taylor Thomson Whitting, Wood and Grieve Engineers
Surveyor Geometra Consulting
Site details
Site type Urban
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Public / civic
Project Details
Status Built
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