Introducing a meeting place of a non-traditional minority to a position seen prestigious by the majority requires a special attention to respecting the feelings of both. In that regard, the Ismali Centre, built in the cultural heart of Britain, had to be in tune with both dominantly western architectural aspirations and Islamic traditions of Nizari Ismaili.
Taking a position on a trapezoid plot in South Kensington, just across the street from the Victoria and Albert Museum, it is a modest building. Instead of the minarets and domes, there are sloping roof and roof top charbagh garden. The differentiation of the functions by facade treatment besides enabling the right dose of intimacy, acquaints passers by with the most delicate of the facade features, the window mullions.
Light, polished and flame-striped granite of the facade is juxtaposed with dark teak and stainless steel bay windows. Chamfered edges, modern geometric window fretwork and beveled glass are giving the whole structure a faceted, gem like appearance.
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