Islamic Cultural Center
Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Swanke Hayden Connell & Partners
The mosque is square in plan and is contained within a 27m cube and surmounted by a copper clad, pre-cast dome. The prayer space is open and free of columns due to the structure which incorporates four steel trusses. The square as design principle is carried through to the facade and interior ornamentation.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Swanke Hayden Connell & Partners
The Islamic Cultural Center was the first building erected as a mosque in New York City. It contains the two primary elements that traditionally compose an Islamic house of worship: a mosque and a minaret. Within the mosque, the mihrab, or alter niche, faces Mecca, dictating the mosque’s 29 degree angle from the Manhattan street grid. This alignment creates a traditional exterior court for worshipers to gather before services. The geometric form of the mosque, based on a recurring theme of square units, follows Islamic law, which prohibits the depiction of natural forms since they are made in the image of God. The result is a striking blend of ancient Islamic tradition and contemporary design and materials.
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