The leader of the world's Ismaili Muslim community was in Toronto Friday to break ground on what is being billed as the largest Islamic art and culture centre in North America.
The $300-million development slated for Wynford Drive near Don Mills Road [[[Where is the money coming from]]]
....will cover 6.8 hectares and will include a museum, an Ismaili cultural centre and a park. [[[prime land and location in Toronto and they get it]]]
The Aga Khan, leader of the group of Shia Muslims known as Ismailis, said the Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture is his gift to Toronto.
"The museum's focus on the arts of Islam will make it a unique institution in North America, contributing to a better understanding of Islamic civilization, the plurality within Islam and Islam's relationship to other traditions," said the Aga Khan.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who presented the spiritual leader with honorary Canadian citizenship, attended the ceremony.An artist's rendering of the Toronto development, which will include an Ismaili cultural centre, a museum of Islamic art and culture and a park. (Imara Wynford Drive Ltd.)
Designed by eminent Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, the museum is likely to be the most public aspect of the complex. Demonstrating tremendous restraint in an age of architectural spectacle, this is a building intended for contemplation. The idea, the Aga Khan explained at Friday’s ceremonial gathering, is that of light. The building, he pointed out, will be “lit by the sun and the moon.”
The Ismailis Center:
By contrast, the Ismaili Centre seeks to create quiet spaces more appropriate for prayer and spirituality than exhibition-going. The designer, influential Indian architect Charles Correa, is probably most recognized for his efforts to adapt Modernism to non-Western contexts. Based in Mumbai, he has produced a building that is actually a series of structures that house a library, social and prayer halls, classrooms and an entrance foyer. Extensive use of glass, including a glazed dome, will ensure natural light throughout.
Finish date 2013.
An artist's rendering shows the reflecting pools and formal garden that are to be part of the park. (Imara Wynford Drive Ltd.)