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Steve L.

There are a series of ten illustrations on the MCC fundraising site that offer better views from a persons perspective and interior shots that show the nice play of light through the screen walls. They can be found at the following address, just change the number at the end of the address to see a different shot:

http://mccpbuildingfund.org/building/tour/render01.jpg

I love the simplicity and humility themes, we could use more of that.

imd

i like how it doesnt have a dome and its following the style of the kaba

Debbie

Can't wait to hear 5 daily calls to prayer over a loud speaker. I miss the church bells! God save us all!

geoff

can you imagine the political uproar, especially in 'progressive' pdx if a christian church built separate facilities for men and women?

jt

geoff, islamic prayer halls are separated by gender for modesty purposes, not hierarchy. women are typically invited to pray in the same space as men (as, i assume, is the case here), but they have the option of occupying their own space if they so desire. it is a choice, not a mandate.

and frankly, debbie, i love the sound of the call to prayer, but what gives you the idea there will be a loud speaker? god save you. the rest of humanity will learn to get along without you.

Steve L.

Aren’t church bells a call to prayer?

geoff

modesty purposes, as in the same theme as burqas?

Look up the concept of Namus, and see how the term 'modesty' is intertwined with other lovely virtues such as 'obedience' and 'honor'.

It's their building, their religion, they can do what they want. I'm just sayin'...

Andy

just sayin' what, exactly?

gm

JT is correct. The whole of the Community Center is open to everyone; and the gender-separate facilities were a specific request from the sisters themselves. There will be no loudspeaker announcing the call to prayer out to the street. The minaret is meant as a visual gesture of welcome. Hopefully this dispels a few more stereotypes.

Laurence

I am really surprised and dismayed by the anti-Islamic remarks expressed above. Comments such as:
-"It's their building, their religion, they can do what they want. I'm just sayin'..."
-"can you imagine the political uproar, ... if a christian church built separate facilities for men and women?"
-"Can't wait to hear 5 daily calls to prayer over a loud speaker. I miss the church bells! God save us all!'
-"i like how it doesnt have a dome"

These are unveiled remarks of prejudice directed at people's religious, architectural and cultural heritage. One would think this is a "Fox News" blog after reading those comments.

Getting back to an architectural discussion, I recommend folks take a look at the contemporary mosque designs of Abdel-Wahed El Wakil, which can be viewed at Archnet.
http://www.archnet.org/library/parties/one-party.jsp?party_id=448

Steve L.

Well said Laurence.

Debbie

In response to "JT" -- Your post is a veiled threat towards me, a complete stranger:

"the rest of humanity will learn to get along without you."---JT

Yes, church bells are a call to prayer. However, they have been silent for decades in the U.S. Neighbors complain I guess. I don't know why.

As for adding to the architecture discussion, the Hagia Sofia was Christianity's Great Church - ransacked and Islamized by Muslim Ottoman conquerers in Turkey.

I'm very much aware that the spread of Islam in Europe and America is being facilitated by the builders of mosques. It's tragic that these local architects are being manipulated as "useful idiots" by the stealth conquerors, the jihadists that liberals do not believe exist - at their peril.

me

Debbie- Don't forget to mention the black helicopters!

Eric Cantona

Debbie - you know nothing of what you speak, nor of who you speak out against. people that are presumably "complete strangers" to you.

educate yourself, then maybe you'll have something useful to contribute to the conversation.

jt

debbie, my statement was not a veiled threat. it was just plain old, honest, wishful thinking that God would save you as soon as possible -- that He would take you from this sinful earth that's overrun with heathens, degenerates, tattooed weirdos and people with beliefs different from yours, and deliver you to that fluffy little cloud with your name on it way up there in Heaven. (please, God, let it happen soon.)

the sooner God rids this beautiful green earth of fascist rednecks like yourself, the sooner we reasonable human beings can learn to get along with one another.

i hope that clarifies my statement. by the way, did you invent the word "Islamized"?

Brendan

While the back-and-forth seems to be off topic, I think it brings up a valid issue that's relevant to the architecture. Although Debbie's view is NOT the majority, it's important to remember that she is not the only one that may have a prejudice against a particular faith. Maybe the prejudice is rooted in ignorance or maybe an experience she's had. Either way, treating her with hosility will only worsen the problem and deepen her prejudice.

My question for Garrett is: What is the architecture doing to address the preconceived notions that people have about the Islamic faith? Looking at the model (and especially the renders in the link provided by Steve) I understand the massing is intended to be iconic, but does it have to completely turn it's back to the street? The thin horizontal awning is a little too "blade" like in proportion to feel welcoming.

I know the intent was to create inwardly focused spaces; I'm not saying those should be eliminated. But I do think it's imparative to make the street presence inviting. It is a Community Center after all, and there is an opportunity to educate those who may be ignorant of the Muslim community.

gm

Brendan, thanks for trying to bring the conversation back to architecture. As for the observation that that building 'completely turns its back' to the street--pleas allow us to clarify.

The entry courtyard space at the south of the site is designed as an active pedestrian plaza, meant to bring the life of the community center out to the street. For example, the community has its own weekly outdoor bazaar, and it was felt that this type of gathering not be pushed away from the street but be accommodated in this courtyard, visible and open to the community. At other times it is conceived as any other public plaza: a place for gathering, possibly dining, possibly performance, basically flexible and active. In this sense the actual front door of the community center is 28 feet wide, and always open.

If you look at any neighborhood church or community center, I think you'll have a hard time finding a space such as this right off the sidewalk. Admittedly, there are very few spaces like this in Portland--but that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen here--and it's not just because it rains a lot. There are great examples of these plazas in cities with much worse climates, remaining quite active and vibrant year-round.

As for the space under the awning, we've been looking at incorporating benches, plantings, and other elements to work in concert with the adjacent bus stop. We're working with fantastic landscape architects Viridian Environmental Design (vedllc.com) on this as we speak, and we're confident it will activate the street presence of the community center surprisingly well.

We appreciate the criticism, and are doing our best to make sure the design 'walks the talk'. But just because it's not a storefront doesn't mean it 'completely turns its back to the street'.

Steve L.

The Annual Greek Festival at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral is one of my favorite cultural events in Portland, and it could be a good model for the type of event the MCC could produce as an outreach to the community, to build mutual understanding and bring in a little extra money.

Brendan

Garrett, I appreciate the clarification and was in no way inferring the use of storefront.

I think your intention for the south courtyard sounds great, it was just impossible to gather that from the massing model which represents a rotated object placed on the site. It'll be interesting to see how the landscape design influences the building massing.

I think that landscape design can definitely achieve the sense of welcomeness we're talking about. But since only the building massing is depicted here, I was only speaking with respect to that.

On the whole I really like what you guys have done so far, especially with the wall perforations. They remind me of books on a shelf. Maybe they can be incorporated at different scales or sizes to respond to program or solar orientation.

Najib

Switzerland citizens ban minarets. Until Islamist countries allow freedom of Christians to build churches and do not force a tax on non-Muslims, Muslims must get a taste of their own medicine: intolerance for other religions. See article written by a Muslim who is in agreement with my position.

Najib

'Either Europe will be Islamized' or Islam will be Europonized. To read the article click on my name.

Najib

"When is a mosque not a mosque?" Islam Glossary: taqiyya: lying -- Lying is permitted in Islam. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiyya

You've been had!

grammy

"Dawah" means prosletize the word of allah, you fools.

http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/director-of-islamic-dawah-ads-in-his-own-words/

J.D

Wow. I can't believe some of these things i'm reading. It is amazing how completely detached from reality people can be. I am a member of this Muslim community. I have been for about 5 years, and I Love this community. I am a caucasian american and can assure you that myself and the majority of this community are peaceful mainstream Muslims who most would consider very liberal. Regarding thefollowing comment from back in the thread a bit. Here it is, then my comments follow.

Posted by: Steve L. | November 13, 2009 at 04:22 PM

In response to "JT" -- Your post is a veiled threat towards me, a complete stranger:

"the rest of humanity will learn to get along without you."---JT

"Yes, church bells are a call to prayer. However, they have been silent for decades in the U.S. Neighbors complain I guess. I don't know why.

As for adding to the architecture discussion, the Hagia Sofia was Christianity's Great Church - ransacked and Islamized by Muslim Ottoman conquerers in Turkey.

I'm very much aware that the spread of Islam in Europe and America is being facilitated by the builders of mosques. It's tragic that these local architects are being manipulated as "useful idiots" by the stealth conquerors, the jihadists that liberals do not believe exist - at their peril".

My comments.

Is that a joke ? And if so, i apologize for taking it serious. If not, maybe you should know that the reality is a bunch of poor american, african american, and a variety of Muslims from all different places, pooled together their hard earned money to pay some $50,000 or so to some white architects for a plan and a miniature version of the mosque. That's what we have to show for our efforts. We can't pray in a miniature mosque ! We would need another 2-5 million dollars to actually move forward with construction and complete the project. We have no reason to believe that it will ever happen, other than pure faith in God. We do not have ties to any Great Islamic Center who is going to just give us the money, It is just like a real barnraising.... building a small humble church in the south or something. "Local architects being manipulated by Jihadists". You must be crazy ! That's laughable man. People need to understand what Islam is in this Country. Understand how similar it is to an older American Christianity. And understand that Muslims come in every color and background, and are normal contributing members of whatever society they inhabit.
I hope this is helpful in someway God Willing.
As-Salaamu Alaikum !(Peace be upon you)!
J.

J.D

My apologies. It looks like maybe the post i was commenting on was Posted by: Debbie | November 16, 2009 at 01:45 PM and not by: Steve L. | November 13, 2009 at 04:22 PM.
Not that i was responding to a certain person anyway, but a perspective.
Peace.
J.


caveatemptor

It's looks like it will be a handsome building. Outside of pleasant architectural anecdotes the real question to me is who is behind it, who is funding it? What is there objective? Islam is a evangelical religion and so it would make sense that 'everyone' would be invited in, especially children. Children who would come into a beautiful space and receive subtle or not so subtle indoctrinization (sp) into Islamic beliefs. Which Islam is it though? Is it this mysterious 'peaceful' Islam that goes against 1488 years of the history of orthodoxy in Islam. The Islam that conquered the Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon, Egypt, expelled 1,000,000 Jews in the last 100 years throughout these same areas. Is it the Islam that attacked Israel as soon as they began to find refuge after the holocaust? Is it this Islam? Or is it this mysterious 'progressive' islam that is distint from the meeting of thousands of Muslims who just met on the nations capital. At this meeting they declared that under the Sharia Law that they wish to bring the U.S. under homosexuals could be tried and executed. Is that the 'progressive 'Islam' that these nice liberal white boys just help build? I'll say this, there are many Muslims that are kind people and wish not to do anyone harm. The majority in fact. There are nmany that are accomplishing Jihad by means of gaining intellectual and professional real estate. That is why trend analysis shows that Islam grows in a society peacefully at first and uses the progress that peaceful Muslims make for cultural acceptance. Islam uses the tolerance of people, manipulates their compassion and pulls heart strings. This is the method of Jihad until the advantage is gained and than the population begins to feel the strangle hold of Sharia Law and all it's oppressive weight on woman, gays, christians, jews, 'disobedient' muslims, and any other 'kefir' or infidels. For all you well educated 'progressives' Islam may seem kind of sexy and exotic now but if you keep paving the way without any scruples or discernment on the subject you will wish that the most fundamental of all of your despised right wingers were running the show instead. Let me guess though. . . . "that could never happen here". . . . if you really believe that than you don't know Islam.

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