Proposed Islamic center drawings shown

Oct. 3, 2010 at 11:44 AM

NEW YORK, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Developers of an Islamic center near New York's Ground Zero haven't hired an architect, but tentative architect's drawings are being displayed, officials said.

The $140 million Muslim community center and mosque would have bright, spacious areas for art exhibits, a Sept. 11 memorial, and rooms for prayer and contemplation, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Planners of the center, called Park51, have been showing the renderings at community meetings, but they were revealed to the wider public for the first time last week, the newspaper said.

Project developer Sharif el-Gamal said the bright, airy design is meant to show "hints of tradition," and the use of modern materials and glass panels give the impression of translucence, and "moving toward the future."

A sketch of the building's facade shows a latticework of design echoing patterns seen in Islamic architecture and decorative tiles across the Middle East, the newspaper said.

Planners have not started raising funds for the project, the report said.

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