Büro Koray Duman Architects

Islamic Cultural Center Prototype

New York City, USA - 2015
13. July 2017
Image: Büro Koray Duman Architects (All images courtesy of v2com)

The ASMA (American Society for Muslim Advancement) and Büro Koray Duman are working on a new cultural center prototype that aims for the full integration of American Muslims into society while promoting and enriching their religious identity. The new center will be in New York City and is currently in fundraising process to acquire the land.

Official Name: Cordoba House 
Location: New York, NY
Client: American Society for Muslim Advancement
Architect: Büro Koray Duman Architects
Structural Engineer: Silman Associates
Budget: $165 million
Construction Start Date: 2020
Night View: Vertical public ramp with social programs at the perimeter of the building with glowing sculptural inner volume. (Image: Büro Koray Duman Architects)

The Need
There are approximately 800,000 Muslims living in NYC. A majority of the gathering places for Muslims are mosques that focuses on "Religion as Practice," which does not leave enough room for developing "Religion as Culture." In 2015, ASMA and Büro Koray Duman embarked a research and design project to develop the first Muslim-sponsored multi-faith community center, promoting progressive change, inter-religious coexistence and cultural exchange. The new center will provide recreation, culinary, art, education, retail and office spaces with a total of 100,000 square feet.

Entrance View: The double height social hall at the center with souk at the perimeter public ramp. (Image: Büro Koray Duman Architects)

Design
Inspired by historic Islamic Cultural Centers – Kulliyes – the design implements the horizontal experience of inner alleys connecting various civic functions of a Kulliye into a vertical typology in NYC. The design studies the idea of a vertical public landscape. The public landscape wraps around the solid, stacked volumes inside, carving out necessary public volumes: auditorium, library and galleries creating a new kind of cultural center.

Study Models (Photo: Büro Koray Duman Architects)

Vertical Landscape
In section, each use is placed in relation to access: large gathering spaces near the base, public programs in the center and destination spaces at the top. Programs are also analyzed for their potential use to be "open" and "closed." Open programs, accessible by public without need for an enclosure, are pushed towards the exterior and incorporated into the vertical landscape.

Final Massing Model: 1/16" = 1'-0" (Photo: Büro Koray Duman Architects)

Inner Volume
The prayer room and multipurpose hall are located at the base of the building. Since the prayer room must orient towards Kaaba, the base is rotated to align with Mecca. The inner envelope twists as it moves upward to align with Manhattan grid. Symbolically, the form of the building bridges Mecca to New York City.

Building Orientation Study (Drawing: Büro Koray Duman Architects)
Concept: Turning the historical/ horizontal diagram into a new vertical typology. (Drawing: Büro Koray Duman Architects)
Sectional Distribution of Programs (Drawing: Büro Koray Duman Architects)
Initial Design: Design of an exterior vertical public ramp and an interior sculptural form for enclosed programs. (Drawing: Büro Koray Duman Architects)
Facade Treatment: Pattern is based on traditional Islamic motifs and applied on the skin through a parametric equation. (Drawing: Büro Koray Duman Architects)

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