The Ismaili center designed by Charles Correa is a mosque in Toronto, Canada. It is situated in a park along with, Aga Khan Museum. The center represents the permanent presence of the Ismaili Muslim community in Toronto, Ontario, as well as Canada.
Charles Correa an Indian architect born in Secunderabad on 1st Sept 1930. He studied at the University of Bombay, the University of Michigan, and also MIT Cambridge. Correa was an architect also an urban planner. He was well known for his low-cost housing as well as the traditional method and material of construction.
Correa started his own practice in Mumbai in 1958. His significant project was Mahatma Gandhi sanghralaya, Ahmedabad (1958-1963), followed by Legislative Assembly, Bhopal (1967). Also, he designed his first high-rise building Sonmarg in Mumbai (1961-1966). Correa designed many iconic buildings in India For Example Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, National Craft Museum New Delhi, and many more.
As an urban planner, Correa indeed has done pioneering work in low-cost housing. Moreover, he was the chief architect in the planning of Navi Mumbai.
Correa has also designed many buildings in other countries. One of the famous buildings is Ismaili Center, Toronto.
Ismaili Center, Toronto
The ismaili center is a mosque in Toronto, Canada. It is situated in a park along with, Aga Khan Museum. The center represents the permanent presence of the Ismaili Muslim community in Toronto, Ontario, as well as Canada.
Charles Correa’s vision was to create a building that responds to the traditions of Islamic architecture while using contemporary way with modern materials. Islamic architecture is indeed known for its dome. However, in the Ismaili Center dome is achieved with different shapes and materials.
The Ismaili center includes a prayer hall (jamatkhana) for the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community as well as social, educational, and cultural activities. While the building and park represent his highness The Aga Khan’s longstanding relationship with Canada and his appreciation for the country’s ethnic inclusiveness and cultural diversity.
The most striking feature of The Ismaili Centre is undoubtedly the prayer hall, with its crystalline frosted glass dome roof lights up the skyline. The Centre is a complex of varied spaces for contemplative, cultural as well as educational purposes. The prayer hall is composed of elegant structural steel trusses of various depths and dimensions. They are covered by a double-layer glass that required précised fabrication as well as perfect assembly.
Approaching the prayer hall through the anteroom, one sees the ‘Muqarnas’, a finely crafted corbelled ceiling whose skylight provides a subtle as well as a peaceful transition from outer areas as one turns to face the prayer hall.
Connecting the prayer hall and social area of the building is a generous foyer; its geometric stone floor pattern indeed provides a physical and visual connection between the two distinctive spaces. In the social hall, the ceiling is two-storey high and is of glass, as a result, it allows the space to fill with natural light. Also, it has a glass door which opens to the garden.
Brief about the building
- Location – Toronto (2014)
- The site – 6.8 hectare (with Aga Khan museum)
- Architect – Charles Correa and Associate
- The park – Formal park has a garden with 5 pools, however, it is a signature feature of Islamic landscape architecture.
- Landscape architect – Vladimir Djurovic
- Exterior – Limestone cladding, granite pavers, glass, steel, as well as wood
- Interior – Patterned glass, maple paneling, and millwork, white oak and stone mosaic floor, along with white onyx.
- Site statistics
- Property – 6.8 hectare
- Building footprints – 0.9 hectare
- Paved walkway- 1600 m
- Landscape- 550 new trees, 5500 shrubs as well as, 5 pool
- Ismaili center
- Gross area – 8300 sqm
- Footprint – 4650 sqm
- Payer hall ht – 20m
- Capacity- 1500 people
- Parking – 756 cars
- Functional space
- Institutional offices
- Social hall
- Prayer hall
- Atrium lounge
- Activity room
- Construction span- 2010-2014