The Ismaili Centre, Kensington, London

Casson Conder Partnership
Date Built
1-7 Cromwell Gardens SW7 2SL
The Ismaili Centre in London occupies an island site across Cromwell Road from the Victoria and Albert Museum.  The building is the spiritual, cultural and social focal point for the Ismaili community in United Kingdom.  It sits beside a busy road adjacent to a number of iconic London buildings but this building is both in harmony with its surroundings on the outside and a haven of peace inside.

Outside the building is clad in white, light grey and blue granite with attractive windows featuring stainless steel and teak frames and beveled glass.  The architects brief was to create a design that, " ...  could deal with relatively large numbers of people entering and leaving the building, without causing major disturbance. This had to be accomplished ... in an acceptable cross-cultural architectural language, which encompassed the architectural traditions of the Muslim community the building is designed to serve. In the process, a large number of individuals were consulted, such as leaders of the Ismaili community, renowned Islamic scholars and architects and designers specialised in Islamic art and design. .... Space was required for the community‚Äôs religious education, senior citizen, youth and other institutional activities, such as committee meetings, seminars and receptions. In addition, the design had to meet the desire for the inclusion of a substantial public exhibition gallery."

The building has a number of beautiful features but among them are the fountain in the entrance hall and the roof garden.

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