Akšamija, Azra. "Cultivating Convergence: The First Islamic Cemetery in Vorarlberg, Austria." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 3, Number 1 (pp. 131-146), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2014.
The Altach Islamic cemetery, winner of the 2013 Aga Khan Award, exemplifies how Islamic funerary architecture can contribute to nurturing pluralism in Western Europe. This newly opened cemetery is part of a wider trend in European funerary architecture; the increasing number of Islamic cemeteries reveals the contemporary dynamics of Europe’s cultural and religious diversification. While this new trend provides an opportunity to broaden the scope of representation for Islam in the West, most of the new Islamic cemeteries have been designed mainly to fulfil functional necessities, neglecting an opportunity to shape an intercultural dialogue from an architectural standpoint. In this context, the Altach Islamic cemetery demonstrates a new approach to creating Islamic architecture in non-Islamic environments that fosters cultural convergence. By emphasizing the dialogic dimensions of architecture through design, implementation and public mediation, this approach allows for an understanding of architecture as a medium for community-making and as a bridge between cultures.