Beautifully Detailed Design at the Turkish-American Community Center

Turkish-American Community Center by Fentress Architects

Lanham, Maryland (February 10, 2015) – Turkish Americans in the United States are getting a new Turkish-inspired architectural monument. The Turkish-American Community Center, located in a suburb of Washington, D.C., is positioned to strengthen relations with Americans and visitors from all countries and will provide the Turkish- American community with a cultural home for education, prayer, and recreation. Fentress Architects is the architect of record leading the $85 million project set on a 14-acre site in Lanham, Maryland. Traditional architectural design is provided by Hassa Architecture based in Istanbul.

The key feature on the campus is a new mosque that will accommodate 700 people for prayer in the main sanctuary and another 700 people in the adjacent courtyard. The mosque is modeled in the “Classic Ottoman” style of architecture. Ottoman style motifs such as pointed arches, ornate tile decoration, ornamental calligraphy, wide roof overhangs, domes, and minarets are found throughout the campus. Traditionally used as a high point from which to make the call to prayer, the minarets stand as symbols of the religious reach to the heavens and remain as traditional decorative elements of the mosque. The twin minarets tower an impressive 142 feet above the site. While the mosque serves as the focal point of this religious and cultural center, picnic areas, fountains, and manicured Turkish gardens complement the architectural features of the buildings.

In addition to the mosque, the campus includes several other buildings. A cultural center houses the library, exhibition hall, and theology center, where people will participate in various educational curricula, presentations, entertainment, and performances in a fully- equipped 250-seat theater. The fellowship hall includes a Turkish coffeehouse that will offer traditional cuisine and will serve up to 300 people. A Turkish bath or hamam combines modern functionality with ornamental Ottoman forms and ornamentation and supports the observance of Turkish religious traditions such as steam bathing and ritual cleansing. For recreation, there are athletic fields, basketball courts, and exercise rooms. And finally, with an underground garage for 300 vehicles, the Center will be able to host multiple events concurrently.

This unique non-profit organization was founded in 2004 and is an extension of the Turkish-American Islamic Foundation. Contributions from the Turkish-American community and the Turkish government made this project possible. The Community Center will provide invaluable social and educational  opportunities for the Turkish- American community and visitors for years to come.

Client: Turkish-American Community Center
Architect: Fentress Architects (AOR)
Traditional Architecture: Hassa Architecture  
General Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction Size: 284,852 total square feet
Cost: $85 million
Completion: February 2015