Earlier this week, Park51 and SOMA Architects released their first renderings of what will be Park 51, the controversial Muslim community center and prayer space in lower Manhattan. The drawings reveal a dramatic 13-story building with a facade of interconnected webbing and a bright white, day-lit interior. Park51 will be a $100 million mixed-use cultural and community center and is slated for LEED certification.
The existing structure, which is currently in use by the New York Muslim community as a prayer center, will be knocked down to make way for the new center. Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf and Sharif El-Gamal are leading the existing prayer center, as well as the new development for the state of the art eco-friendly facility.
Although no details about the facility’s sustainable strategies have been released, it’s clear that daylighting will play a major role in the building’s lighting. The new community and prayer center will also include recreation spaces and fitness facilities, a 500-seat auditorium, a restaurant and culinary school, exhibition space, educational space, a library, reading room, art studios, childcare services, a prayer space and a September 11th memorial. Fundraising for the new center is ongoing.