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Islamic Cultural Center of New York

New York, New York

Client: The Islamic Cultural Center of New York Religious Trust
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Completion: 1991

Situated at the intersection of Third Avenue and 96th Street in Manhattan, the building is set back from the street, creating a pre-prayer outdoor space. Inside the 90 foot open interior, a ceremonial enclosed prayer hall with grid of four trusses supporting a steel and concrete dome above and a suspended women’s gallery beneath, creates separate spaces for men and women. A modern adaptation of Kufic, a form of Arabic calligraphy, is used here as an ornament over the main entry portal.

The combination of natural and reflected light, suspended light, layers of glass, and a modern circle of steel wire-supported lamps, creates a visual serenity and evokes a motif dating back to the circles of oil lamps at Ibn Tulun. The Center is estimated to have cost $17 million.

  • 1993 IALD Award of Excellence
  • 1993 IESNY Lumen Citation
  • 1993 Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award of Excellence for Interior Lighting