Park51 project takes a giant step forward with new renderings from Soma Architects
Developer Sharif el-Gamal is yet to officially appoint an architect for the Park51 project and already the structure has had its identity defined for it by an ever-growing cluster of extremists and activists. Dubbed the ‘Ground Zero Mosque', the project has barely made it out of the media spotlight since its inception in 2009.
It is imperative at this point to note that Park51 is neither a mosque nor is it planned to be constructed at Ground Zero but two blocks away; controversially however, designers behind the newly released images Soma Architects have the renderings listed on their website under the location ‘Ground Zero'.
On ABC's ‘This Week', wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf - whose involvement in the project has brought about much fiery debate - Daisy Khan, reported that both she and her husband have been terrorised by telephoned death threats over the Park51 development. The NYPD confirmed these claims and added that an investigation into the source is underway.
The mixed-use tower will devote two basement floors to a Muslim prayer area, however the remaining 13 stories are designed for secular and multi-faith use, with a sports and fitness centre, restaurant and exhibition space, a playground and childcare area, and a memorial and sanctuary on the 12th floor dedicated to the memory of those who died in the 9/11 attacks nine years ago.
Drawn up by international firm Soma Architects, these renderings are a basic expression of the developer's plans for this site. With the official architect still to be confirmed, these few shots supply only a glimmer of what is to come - a preliminary taster of the final concept.
An ice-white latticework effect scatters across the façade, with allusions to both traditional Islamic architecture and iconic symbols from other faiths, such as the Jewish Star of David. The elaborate, yet undeniably futuristic feel of this structure injects just the right amount of personality into its Manhattan neighbourhood - two blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood. This intricate detail can also be noted from the interior renderings, as light rushes to enter the building during the day and floods out as night falls.