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Nature’s Reverence: Jabal Temple’s Beauty

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The intersection of architecture and ecology has birthed a captivating marvel at the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, where architect Yussef Agbo-Ola’s creation, the Jabal: 9 Ash Cleansing Temple, stands as a testament to reverence for nature and indigenous traditions.


This tent-like temple, nestled within the former school turned triennial headquarters, is more than just a structure; it’s a living entity designed to honor non-human life and endangered species while inviting contemplation on the impact of climate change. Crafted from jute, hemp, and cotton yarns, its fabric skin encourages reflection on Sharjah’s biodiversity, echoing the rugged beauty of Jebel Jais Mountain.

Nature's Reverence

Agbo-Ola’s vision transcends mere aesthetics; it delves into the intrinsic connection between humans and the natural world. Inspired by Bedouin, Yoruba, and Cherokee rituals, the temple serves as a space for collective aroma ceremonies, inviting visitors to partake in breathing ceremonies and connect with the environment on a deeper level.

Moreover, the temple’s design embodies the essence of fertility and transformation, emphasizing the importance of embracing impermanence and decay as integral parts of the natural cycle. Each fabric skin symbolizes interconnectedness, with microscopic organisms playing a vital role in its evolution—a profound metaphor for the delicate balance of ecosystems.

Nature's Reverence


As visitors traverse the temple’s inner sanctums, they are encouraged to slow down, contemplate, and revere the sacred mountains. The burning of bakhoor and incense serves as a collective ritual, inducing a sense of contemplation and connection to nature.


But the temple’s allure extends beyond its visual and olfactory appeal. It resonates with a symphony of sound, drawing inspiration from rituals, shamanism, and ecological practices. This sonic composition, an orchestral tapestry woven with spatial gradients, mirrors the intricate dialogue between botanical, geological, and unseen environmental elements—a harmonious ode to the Earth’s symphony.

Curated by Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo, the Sharjah Architecture Triennial‘s theme of scarcity finds embodiment in Agbo-Ola’s creation. Amidst the scarcity of resources and environmental degradation, the temple emerges as a beacon of hope—a sanctuary where humans can reconnect with nature and rediscover their role as stewards of the Earth.

Jabal Temple's Beauty

In essence, Jabal: 9 Ash Cleansing Temple transcends its physical form, serving as a catalyst for introspection and environmental consciousness. It beckons us to heed the wisdom of the mountains, to embrace the ephemeral beauty of life, and to forge a symbiotic relationship with the natural world. As we stand in awe of its splendor, may we be reminded of our responsibility to safeguard the sanctity of our planet for generations to come.


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