Houston - Texas
Client: Islamic Society of Greater Houston

The Islamic Society of Greater Houston approached SIR to design a mosque for the City of Houston. A site had already been purchased, with an existing building for temporary use. The building, however was inadequate for the Society’s needs. It was desired to have more educational facilities, more space for growth, and most important, to provide a symbolic center of all Muslims in the Houston area. The design for the new mosque is based upon important characteristics of Islamic religious architecture. A traditional arcade central court plan is used to create an inner-focused building evoking a feeling of sanctuary and mediation. A water fountain forms the central focus for this space. Exterior walls facing the street are of heavy construction with small window openings giving the building a feeling of permanence and security. The prayer mosque is roofed with a traditional dome which sits on an octagonal base the octagonal shape
serving to define the shifted axis which allows the worship space to have its principal internal orientation toward Mecca. Adhering to Islamic customs, the plan provides separate entrances to the mosque for men and women. Parking for 140 cars is accommodated on two underground parking levels which are reached by ramps on the south side of the building. A library and administration area also faces the central court.