President of Turkey Attending Opening Ceremony of the Diyanet Center of America
Lanham, Maryland (April 1, 2016) - Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, will be the guest of honor at the opening ceremony for the Diyanet Center of America in this suburb outside Washington D.C. on Saturday at 10 a.m. The new community center is located at 9704 Goodluck Road in Lanham. The project is positioned to strengthen Turkish 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 was the architect of record leading this project set on a 14-acre site. Traditional architectural design was 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. Modeled in the Classic Ottoman style of architecture, motifs include pointed arches, ornate tile decoration, ornamental calligraphy, wide roof overhangs, and domes. Traditionally used as the high point from which to make the call to prayer, minarets stand as symbols of the religious reach to the heavens and remain as traditional decorative elements of the mosque. 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.
A cultural center houses the library, exhibition hall, and theology center, where visitors can participate in educational programs, presentations, entertainment, and performances in a fully-equipped 250-seat theater. The fellowship hall includes a Turkish coffeehouse that offers traditional cuisine and will serve up to 300 people. A Turkish bath or hamam combines modern functionality with ornamental Ottoman forms 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 Diyanet Center of America will provide invaluable social and educational opportunities for the Turkish-American community and visitors for years to come.
Diyanet Center of America
Client: Turkish-American Community Center
Architect: Fentress Architects (AOR)
Traditional Architecture: Hassa Architecture
General Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction
Size: 284,852 total square feet