A trip to the mosques of Isfahan and Shiraz, Iran, was one of the inspirations for the Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI). The religious, educational and cultural center combines traditional Islamic features in a modern and dynamic way to represent their translation to the American context. The original building consisted of a 7,000sf mosque completed in 1991. As the community grew over the years, it was clear additional space was needed. Although the school structure was envisioned in the initial plans, funding for its construction did not materialize until 20 years later.
The 19,000 square feet, 2-story plus full cellar and partial subcellar addition to the mosque includes new ablution (ritual washing) spaces, 12 classrooms, a day care room, new lobby, administrative offices, a library, a basketball court, exercise room, a double-height reception area and a new warming kitchen. The mosque, the extended East facing qibla wall (direction of prayer) and the new addition wrap around four sides of a central courtyard, creating a new outdoor gathering place, which is used as additional prayer space during special holidays. The entry to the courtyard through the qibla wall is framed by three grand pointed arches. Additional parking and site work was included in the design to meet the parking needs of the community.