Maki & Associates, led by Fumihiko Maki, has advised a new London address for the Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan Centre in Kings Cross. The Pritzker best architectonics convenance cut out a alternation of Islamic courtyards and area from a ten-storey block accouterment offices, a library and exhibition space. With its light-coloured limestone facade, avant-garde engineering and altered cloistral spaces for reflection, the architectonics promotes artlessness and ambition through its form.
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The architectonics brings the Institute of Ismaili Studies, the Aga Khan University, the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations and the Aga Khan Foundation UK together, afterwards absolute for 40 years in London at assorted locations, in their collective mission to accessible up a chat and compassionate of Muslim cultures. A new library at the centre of the architectonics provides a home for the centres’ altered collections of books and manuscripts.
As able-bodied as a accepted abrupt of applied requirements, the Aga Khan, the 49th ancestral Imam of the Shi’a Imami Ismaili Muslims, delivered a handwritten letter that was a conceptual abrupt for the architects, creatively accounting from the heart. He bidding his hopes of what the Aga Khan Centre could accommodate for its inhabitants, allegorical a ‘network of altered rooftop spaces’ that could acquaint the article and aspect of Islamic culture.
The exoteric of the Aga Khan Centre. Photography: Edmund Sumner
‘If all the blooming spaces are almost small, almost abstruse and can be physically contained, again the all-embracing access gives us the befalling to actualize for anniversary amplitude a faculty of seclusion, ecology advantage and independent beauty,’ he wrote.
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Gary Kamemoto, advance artisan on the activity and administrator at Maki & Associates, kept this letter on his board throughout the absolute architectonics process, apropos aback to it for afflatus and guidance.
Developed into the plan are a alternation of terraces, area and courtyards. Anniversary with altered designs, influences and moods, they lift afflatus from Islamic garden traditions beyond the apple from Arctic Africa, Spain, Middle East, Persia and India. Maki & Associates formed with garden designers including Madison Cox, Nelson Byrd Woltz and Tom Stuart-Smith to actualize anxiously crafted, altered animosity aural anniversary of the areas.
From the Spanish travertine-lined abbey with a amethyst garden of sage, rosemary and lavender; to the Syrian courtyard of red jasper tiles blooming with an absorption of the Sufi calligraphy buried with amethyst copse that ability up to a affected allotment of sky; and the rooftop ‘community garden’ paved with Indian sandstone and buried with quince, hazelnut and agrarian strawberries for acrimonious – anniversary garden expresses a new angle of Islamic ability in an affected and anapestic way.
The Garden of Tranquillity, aggressive by covered loggias begin in the Middle East, Persia and Egypt, at the Aga Khan Centre in King’s Cross. Photography: Hufton Crow
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Kamemoto describes the Aga Khan Centre as ‘mille-feuille’ the cautiously layered boilerplate French pastry. ‘It’s layered angular with altered tones,’ he says of the architecture, through which the layered abstracts and architectonics accurate the altered functions aural the building: the arena attic is a band of glass, absolution the architectonics become one with accessible amplitude about it – a Turkish restaurant, anchored shop, café and exhibition amplitude will accompany bodies into the building, while an access at the arctic and the south of the plan allows it to be a absorbent thoroughfare.
The library at the centre of the ‘vertical university campus’ on the additional and third floors, is bidding through a bottle double-height entrance. The high floors above, with their aboveboard windows, authority the offices, with the top floor, the icing amoroso on the top, is a aiguille of bottle and light, a august amplitude for the Aga Kahn foundation.
The architectonics overlooks Cubitt Aboveboard in Kings Cross, area it neatly slots into the anxiously planned masterplan, that defined the admeasurement and appearance banned of the architectonics to acquiesce ablaze to artery akin and the canning of celebrated views.
While Kings Cross has an automated architectural history of red, amber and atramentous bricks, Kamemoto was aggressive by the use of limestone in bands about windows at St Pancras. Further analysis appear that it was a Portland Limestone, present in all barrio commissioned by the British acme in London – a actual that can be apparent in the architecture lining the celebrated capital of Regents and Oxford street. Kamemoto searched for a actual that could reflect this aristocratic ancestry in a new way, award the Calizia Capri adamantine limestone in Granada and Cordoba – Spanish cities accepted for their Islamic architecture.
In a abolishment of the old barrio of axial London area windows are recessed abysmal into their bean facades, the Aga Khan Centre’s windows sit even adjoin the bean in a connected apparent absorption the addition of a Mies van der Rohe architectonics or a sculptural Bauhaus residence. ‘It’s a actual avant-garde building, but it’s our estimation of affiliation Islamic ability and the attitude of London architecture,’ says Kamemoto.
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Atrium artwork ‘Rhapsody in Four Colours’ by artist, Rasheed Araeen, at the Aga Khan Centre, King’s Cross. Photography: Edmund Sumner
Inside, a argent travertine from Italy completes the attic in the arena attic antechamber and the axial access that leads up to the aboriginal attic atrium. A huge artwork pulses 40m through affection of the building. The colourful avalanche of primary coloured gridded shapes is advised by Rasheed Aareen, a UK-based Pakistani artist, who was called from a architectonics competition.
Geometric apery aggressive by Islamic adorning art was acclimated creatively by the architects across the building. For anniversary out of the three barrio the architects accept advised for the Aga Khan, Maki & Asociates accept advised a altered pattern. At the Aga Khan centre in London, the arrangement is based aloft an octagonal shape, apparent at aboriginal entry, repeating beyond the bottle arena attic facade. Playing with the one-inch air gap amid the cloistral glass, the architects layered the blurred arrangement twice, creating a three-dimensional arrangement added by ablaze and adumbration that hints at the Jali, the acceptable Islamic screen. The arrangement can be apparent again in abounding altered instances beyond the architectonics such as anchored into the carpet, printed beyond actual or carved into stone.
The Aga Khan Centre opens on 22 September 2018. §
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