Meet the Greek Australian Who Designed the ‘Aussie Mosque’

A Sydney suburb is soon to see the opening of a new contemporary mosque, designed by a Greek-Australian architect.

Angelo Candalepas is an award-winning architect, who set up his firm Candalepas Associates in Sydney, in 1999.

Having worked previously on designing a primary school for All Saints Orthodox church in the Sydney district of Belmore, his involvement in the mosque project at first came as a surprise.

Speaking to Australian broadcaster ABC, he said the approach by the Australian Islamic Mission (AIM) initially left him “freaked out”.

At first unsure as whether to take up their offer, he said spiritual guidance from a Greek-Orthodox priest led him to embrace the project.

“He said, ‘We are all the children of God, and you must do every single one of these projects and they must be the most important projects of your life,'” Candalepas told ABC.

The Punchbowl Mosque, which has been dogged by legal and planning delays, is now set to open before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (June 14).

The mosque is of ultra-modern design, giving a contemporary twist to classical and Islamic architecture.

In 2017, Candalepas spoke to the Sydney Architecture Festival about the project and his work with the AIM.