What does an Islamic building found at the feet of the Rockies look like?
The relevance of this question rests on certain values, primarily that the lessons of site and place take precedence over any stylistic preconceptions. The easy and all too often common approach makes use of a simplistic strategy, recalling forms that are generally associated with Islamic architecture without any provisions of respect for their provenance or acknowledgement of craft and artistry, scattering domes and minarets in a shallow appeal to base instincts that seek comfort in the shadows of melancholy and illusion. The unfortunate product of this approach is often willed and seldom accidental, contrary to what the visual evidence may suggest. Hurried scrapings of historical cues, mashed into bulbous masses of laboured pomp and shameless kitsch, are given the paramount task of expressing a community’s identity. This strange brew of laziness and insensitivity alienates the creative process from its immediate stimuli, and any framework of language and experience is reduced, along with the building itself, to a state of caricature. When the humour of this grotesque parody eventually lifts, what remains is but a sad postulate of misrepresented ideals that are blind to their origins and aloof to their surroundings