Photo Essay: The Ismaili Centre – “Peace Through Prayer” and “A Splendid Reality”
Editor’s note: Almost four weeks ago, on Friday September 12, 2014, the Prime Minister of Canada and His Highness the Aga Khan performed the official opening of the Ismaili Centre in Toronto. Simerg is pleased to present a selection of photos from a media kit that was made available to members of the media on the opening day. In addition we have incorporated additional photos as well as a short video pertinent to the opening day released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Charles Correa has revisited and reinterpreted the traditional notions of a dome by playing with light, colour and symmetry to give the Ismaili Centre a unique glass crystalline dome. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
Visible from the Don Valley Parkway, the crystalline frosted glass dome of the Ismaili Centre Jamatkhana radiates light at night from the highest point of the site. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
The “Muqarnas” is a finely crafted corbelled ceiling whose skylight provides a subtle transition from the outside to the serene Jamatkhana inside. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
A screen made from ribbons of steel separates the anteroom from the prayer hall. It repeats an 8 sided pattern exhibiting a geometric tool used by Muslim artists to create order and rhythm for contemplation. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
The walls of the Jamatkhana are lined with Canadian maple paneling repeating the word Allah (Arabic for God) in stylized Kufic calligraphy. Photo: Copyright Shai Gil.
Inside the Jamatkhana, the central skylight panel descends to a white translucent onyx block. Photo: Copyright Shai Gil.
The library hosts reading and story time sessions for children and acts as a welcoming space for the community. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
THE SOCIAL HALL
The social hall is a commanding space that is evocative of the elements seen throughout the building. This space is the primary social area for cultural performances, concerts, lectures, book launches, film screenings and weddings. The preceding photo and the next photo were taken in this social hall. The design in the background of the stage at left is based on an Ottoman textile. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
A number of exquisite art pieces are displayed in the social hall foyer, including a lattice work in a geometric pattern depicting the words Allah (Arabic for God), Muhammad and Ali intertwined and a medallion made of semi-precious stone. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
The Ismaili Centre has classrooms and meeting rooms designed for flexible programmatic activities such as committee meetings, educational programs and seminars. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
The Council Chamber, under its own skylight, is where the community’s institutions meet. Photo: Copyright Gary Otte.
The Basmallah is repeated four times in this iconic piece designed by German Muslim artist Karl Schlamminger. The calligraphy is the first artwork that members will see as they enter the building from the indoor parking garage. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.
PHOTOS AND VIDEO FROM THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
Photo: The website of the Prime Minister of Canada, pm.gc.ca
Photo: The website of the Prime Minster of Canada, pm.gc.ca
24 SEVEN EXCLUSIVE VIDEO FROM THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
Date posted: Thursday, October 9, 2014.
Please also see this blog’s posts:
- Photos and Videos: Simerg Captures the Spirit of the Jamat on the Opening Day of the Ismaili Centre in Toronto, Canada
- September 18, 2014: Opening Day of the Majestic new Aga Khan Museum
For a complete list as well as links to photo essays published on this blog please click on Table of Contents. Please also visit this photoblog’s companion literary website, http://www.simerg.com.
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Thank you for taking me on this tour.
BASMALLAH is wrongly spelled. In arabic written four times is perfect. In English it should be BISMALLAH ( B ism Allah) meaning IN THE NAME OF ALLAH.
The Basmala (Arabic: بسملة basmala), also known by its opening utterance Bismillah (Arabic: بسم الله, “In the name of God”) is the collective noun for the Islamic phrase “b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi”.
Thank you for the clarification Malik. I like the way you wrote down the actual transliteration off bismillahir rahamanir rahim. How do you do the same for inna lillahi wa inna lillahi rajeon?
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A mesmerizing beautiful project. Well done.