Projects   Building Types Study - Places of Worship
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The Ismaili Centre
Lisbon, Portugal
Raj Rewal Associates

Islamic symbolism and local architecture inform this modern place of worship

© Raj Rewal Associates

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A design competition among five leading architects resulted in Indian architect Raj Rewal receiving the commission to design a permanent home for prayer and community gatherings of the Ismaili community in Lisbon. Rewal's design was further refined in discussion with the leaders of the community and resulted in an 100,000-square-foot facility.

In addition to areas for worship, the facility includes offices for its institutional work of carrying out the endeavors of His Holiness the Aga Khan, who serves as both the spiritual head of the Ismaili religion as well as a renowned philanthropist in promoting worldwide cultural and economic development.

Raj Rewal's design draws inspiration from both the Islamic philosophy and the local architecture and is innovative in using contemporary materials and technology. Public spaces like the social hall and community rooms are grouped together on the ground floor, each with its own courtyard. The first floor is reserved for Aga Khan Foundation activities; six rooms are ordered around six enclosed courtyards, landscaped with beautiful foliage and featuring fountains and water sculpture.

Reinforcing both the strength of Islamic values as well as its traditional patterns, prefabricated local pink granite and steel pipes braced with stainless steel rods were used to create a lattice-patterned facade, echoing an Islamic design feature. The geometric patterns capture the essence of Islamic historic styles set within a modern design idiom.

Formal name of Project:
The Ismaili Centre

Lisbon, Portugal

100,000 sq ft

Ismaco, Lisbon

Architect's firm:
Raj Rewal Associates
S-7. Triveni , DDA Commercial Complex
Sheikh Sarai Phase 1, New Delhi 110017
Tel: 91-11-6015428, 6014101
Fax: 91-11-6015429


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