New Ismaili Center Set to Open in Houston, Texas
We have been selected by The Ismaili Council for the USA to lead design of the Ismaili Center in Houston, the first Ismaili Center in the United States, alongside London-based design architect Farshid Moussavi and landscape architect Nelson Byrd Woltz. Our firm, which was recently ranked the #1 Cultural Design firm by BD World Architecture, was awarded the role of executive architect and architect of record through an international design competition. This will be the second collaboration between our firm and Farshid Moussavi Architecture, following design of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland.
The new Ismaili Center will be located at the intersection of Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard just west of downtown Houston. It will be the seventh in a series of iconic cultural buildings His Highness the Aga Khan has commissioned over the past four decades in the United Kingdom, Canada, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, and Tajikistan. Once complete, the center will serve as a national hub for the social, cultural, and intellectual activities of the Ismaili Muslim Community.
“We are very honored to partner with the Ismaili community to bring this historic building to life,” said Senior Principal, Paul Westlake, FAIA, FACHA, who leads our Cultural+Performing Arts Studio. “Houston is home to one of the largest Ismaili Muslim populations in North America, and the new center will serve as a place where community members can learn, pray, and engage in fellowship. Our team is privileged to have been chosen for a project that will have such a lasting impact on the local community and beyond.”
The Ismaili Center in Houston will serve the city’s approximately 40,000 Ismaili Muslims and is expected to include a Jamatkhana, or prayer hall, educational spaces, a social hall, and several multi-purpose meeting and conference spaces. Design has already begun for this significant project.
Barkat Fazal, President of the Ismaili Council for the USA said, “We are excited to be working with architects of world stature and experience to design this unique project. It will embody both Houston’s and the Ismaili community’s pluralistic vision.”
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