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  • The “Muqarnas” is a finely crafted corbelled ceiling whose skylight provides a subtle transition from the outside to the serene Jamatkhana inside. Gary Otte
    The “Muqarnas” is a finely crafted corbelled ceiling whose skylight provides a subtle transition from the outside to the serene Jamatkhana inside. Gary Otte
  • A screen made from ribbons of steel separates the anteroom from the prayer hall.  It repeats an 8 sided pattern exhibiting a geometric tool used by Muslim artists to create order and rhythm for contemplation. Gary Otte
    A screen made from ribbons of steel separates the anteroom from the prayer hall. It repeats an 8 sided pattern exhibiting a geometric tool used by Muslim artists to create order and rhythm for contemplation. Gary Otte
  • Inside the Jamatkhana, the central skylight panel descends to a white translucent onyx block. Shai Gil
    Inside the Jamatkhana, the central skylight panel descends to a white translucent onyx block. Shai Gil
  • The walls of the Jamatkhana are lined with Canadian maple paneling repeating the word Allah (Arabic for God) in stylized Kufic calligraphy. Shai Gil
    The walls of the Jamatkhana are lined with Canadian maple paneling repeating the word Allah (Arabic for God) in stylized Kufic calligraphy. Shai Gil
  • Charles Correa has revisited and reinterpreted the traditional notions of a dome by playing with light, colour and symmetry to give the Ismaili Centre a unique glass crystalline dome. Gary Otte
    Charles Correa has revisited and reinterpreted the traditional notions of a dome by playing with light, colour and symmetry to give the Ismaili Centre a unique glass crystalline dome. Gary Otte
Architecture of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto
  • In designing the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, Charles Correa’s vision was to create a building that responds to the traditions of Islamic architecture in a contemporary design using modern materials.

    The most striking feature of the Ismaili Centre is undoubtedly the prayer hall, with its crystalline frosted glass dome and elegant steel trusses. The Centre is a complex of varied spaces for contemplative, cultural, educational and recreational purposes. Its design draws upon the traditions of Islamic architecture and incorporates these in a contemporary Canadian context, reflecting the Ismaili community’s permanent presence in Canada as well as its desire to welcome others in an exchange of cultures and ideas. The Centre’s exterior and the surrounding Park reflect these notions in their terraces, gardens and reflecting pools, presenting a serene space that is both modern and timeless.

    Approaching the prayer hall through the anteroom, one sees the “Muqarnas,” a finely crafted corbelled ceiling whose skylight provides a subtle transition from the outside to the serene prayer hall inside. Connecting the prayer hall and social area of the building is a generous foyer and its geometric stone floor pattern that flows from one to the other providing physical and visual connections between the two distinctive spaces. In the social hall, the ceiling is almost two stories high and the descending glass roof once again fills it with natural light while the glass doors open to the gardens beyond.

    The slightly raised atrium lounge anchors the foyer and embraces natural light as its glass walls rise through the upper floor to yet another skylight. A library and several classrooms are on this floor, while the upper level is home to administrative offices and a formal boardroom that opens onto a spacious stone terrace with views of the city and park below.