An interpretation of timelessness in sacred architecture : an Islamic Centre for Durban.
Timelessness is an ethereal component of sacred architecture as defined by the belief of man. The spiritual vision of humanity has demonstrated techniques of expressing belief in the existence of a Higher Being within the universe. Various systems of belief, based on religion today, have their own interpretation of their existential being in relation to the cosmos; this is strongly conveyed by means of architecture and built form. Modern interpretations of ancient belief systems have transmitted timeless qualities in ancient architecture. This research is aimed at providing an interpretation of timelessness that is able to capture and portray a sacred identity in built form and architecture. The author has identified a complex inter-relationship between the spirit, earth and the universe, forming a timeless design philosophy. The evaluation of various sacred archetypes in a historical setting has set a foundation to timeless design, which when implemented in sacred Islamic architecture, reveals its timeless elements. The contemporary interpretation of theory in this research has led to a timeless design philosophy, which when applied to any sacred architecture, will reveal timeless design elements that can be used today. This contemporary application of timeless elements or physical representations of belief may stimulate the deep spiritual vision of humanity once again, where qualities of 'ultimate human value' detached from differing religious belief systems enhance the 'collective human experience'. Ultimately leading toward an architecture expressive of unity in multiplicity.