Observations – Park 51 Community Centre Designs

First of all, I neither have any interest to discuss the political aspects of the largely controversial Park 51 project in New York City, nor I would like to discuss the propagandas , since I don’t live in NYC (or in the US in that matter). But I would like to express my opinion that everyone have the right to do what they want – and everyone should respect each individual rights, and regretfully, people (mostly who opposes the project, which by the way wrongly coined as the “Ground Zero Mosque”, since it is a community center) failed to realize the fact that Muslims (and therefore, the existence of mosques) already present in NYC in the late 19th Century with the coming of Arab immigrants from the Ottoman Empire until one portion of Lower Manhattan is called ‘Little Syria’, and mosques are already established and built throughout New York City.

As I noted before I am more interested in the building itself rather than the controversy surrounding it. As the projects proposed plans and drawings emerged in the daily news I read through the internet, I was in awe going through the pictures.

the proposed 13 floor building will feature facilities that will serve to both Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. Facilities include a “praying space” for people of all faiths and ideologies, recreation spaces, restaurants and a culinary school, libraries and also a 9/11 memorial. As I noted before, what had struck me the most is the proposed designs for the building itself.

As a aficionado of  art and architecture, I am impressed with all the proposed designs. Doing this blog you might have thought that I am more into classical, historical architecture but I absolutely love clean sleek lines of modern, minimalist designs and architecture. The architectural design consultants for the community center (SOMA Architects) amalgamated the traditional Islamic designs with cool modern aesthetics to create a truly unique style.

I cannot post the pictures here, but please look into the official website here

UPDATE – Founded some pics off the website in some other blog, thanks to Isuhangat.net.

The proposed front facade of the Park51 Community Centre.

Two different views of the interior of the Park51 Community Centre

The proposed design is clearly influenced by Islamic geometrical designs – you can obviously see the eight pointed stars incorporated into the designs, but it lacked the rigid and orderly manner of which these designs are based upon, but it is scattered around, and almost looked like a beehive of some sort – this is where the modern aesthetics sets in. It looked edgy and modern. I think the design takes the influences mostly from Mashrabias, the decor used over windows in Middle Eastern countries.

The older one, is less spectacular, however the ideas are there, and I think they made a great job with the newer design.


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