Muslim American Society (MAS) is a dynamic charitable, religious, social, cultural, and educational organization with a mission focused on the development of individuals and communities through a comprehensive Islamic educational curriculum, service, interfaith initiatives, youth programs, and civic engagement. MAS Staten Island’s existing one story with cellar community center located at 180 Burgher Avenue, Staten Island, NY operates beyond the facility’s capabilities, dealing with overcrowding and insufficient infrastructure. After several years of planning, MAS Staten Island proposes to build a new community center through a two-phase construction. Following a series of rigorous community outreach workshops and feedback process, the building programming was established to address the community’s current and future needs.

The first phase will be sited on the northern portion of the site while the existing community center will remain in operation during the initial construction. Within phase-one, an airy double-height lobby is designed to bring in natural light with access to a multipurpose cafe, washrooms with ablution stations and a funeral services office on the ground floor. A large multipurpose room, commercial kitchen and mechanical rooms are planned in the cellar; the second floor is programmed for six instructional classrooms, a library, and youth lounge and the roof will offer a usable pavered deck with pergola structure for solar shading.

Upon completion of the first phase and a Certificate of Occupancy is obtained, the existing Center will be demolished to allow for the construction of phase two. The second phase adds a new double-height prayer hall to provide a calm and introspective setting and designed to focus visitor’s attention to the modestly ornate and ethereal mihrab. Administrative offices are proposed on the ground floor, an additional large multipurpose room and washrooms with ablutions stations are proposed on the cellar level and additional prayer space and childcare room is programmed on the second floor. All spaces are designed to be flexible and adaptable to various programming.

The main building will be clad with light iridescent vertical glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels over a dark split-face concrete base to give the structure a modern, but timeless look. Portions of the rear façade are clad in an exterior insulated finish system to complement the GFRC while visually breaking up the massing. The two-phase massing accentuates the significance of the prayer hall by angling the lines of the base and parapet upward to the corner, pointing toward the direction of Mecca. The exterior expression of the mihrab will be faced with an Islamic geometric relief pattern cut into solid surface cladding, framed with metal trim. At the southeast corner of the roof, a triangulate form that plays with solid/void and light, a modern interpretation of the traditional minaret, supports the crescent moon hilal symbol.

Landscaped and planted areas are planned along the Burgher Avenue front yard and both active and passive recreational areas will be available around the building with sitting areas provided along the rear yard. The proposed project will not only transform the site to meet the current growing programs of the community but also the anticipated needs of future generations.

  • Location

    180 Burgher Avenue
    Staten Island, NY

  • Client

    MAS New York

  • Year Completed

    2023 (anticipated)

  • Cost

    ~$7 million

  • Team

    AN Consulting Engineer, PLLC
    EMTG Consultants, Inc.
    Tarek M Zeid PE, PLLC
    Krypton Engineering, PLLC
    EPAC Building Consulting, Inc.