A planned Cultural Center in New York will bring various parts of the surrounding community together
Designed by Buro Koray Duman, this Islamic Cultural Center planned for New York will be the first Muslim-sponsored multi-faith community centre promoting social justice, progressive change, inter-religious coexistence and cultural exchange.
The aim of the project is to create an institution that will act as a microcosm for a better world. Both philosophically and in practice, the Cultural Center will embody the underpinning values of respect for different opinions, beliefs, and schools of thought by soliciting healthy debates among faith communities and placing special emphasis on the voices of women and youth so as to create more egalitarian societies.
Since the Cultural Center is a new typology the building had to be developed with a new kind of design sensibility. In 2014, Buro Koray Duman conducted a research for a new typology and provided a building proposal for the center.
As a result the various programs of the design are organised as the consequence of two main considerations. First, each use is considered in relation to access. This distributes the program vertically, with large gathering spaces near the base, public programs in the centre section, and destination spaces at the top. Next, programs are analyzed for their potential to be “open” or “closed”. Open programs are those which are accessible to the public without the need for a separate enclosure. This allows programs to move from the central body to the exterior ramps.
The inner skin of the centre is based on traditional Islamic patterns. The complexity found in these motifs is brought into contemporary design through a parametric equation that responds to programmatic requirements.
The pattern shifts from open to closed; allowing in daylight where needed and creating a solid wall in other places. This allows the form to remain intact while allowing for openings within the skin.
From the architects