The drawings released by SOMA Architects, who are doing the initial plans for the controversial Park51 community center, make a strong statement. The design isn’t necessarily the newest of the cutting edge (Jean Nouvel might recognize a few these moves), but it is completely conversant in the leading trends in architectural design, elegantly executed and powerful in its assertion of modernity in the face of ugly and primitive religious anger. Michel Abboud, a French architect with Lebanese roots, is smart and has executed a bold and confident design that is transparent and dynamic, with a savvy incorporation of “Islamic” design ideas into a confident contemporary plan. I reviewed the plans for The Washington Post.
Image courtesy of SOMA Architects