Bosnian Islamic Center
St. Louis, MO
Home to the largest Bosnian community outside of Bosnia, the community has built three mosques in their new home city of St. Louis. However, a Bosnian community center does not yet exist for recreational, educational, and other activities. A South City mosque approached Fox to explore the option of establishing a community center next door. Seeking to create a building that exceeds the role of a typical community center, the exterior design serves as a monument to the Bosnian peoples’ story and arrival in St. Louis.
Featuring durable and resilient materials, the material palette imparts a sense of resiliency while incorporating light and transparent features which serve as an invitation to the community. Visibility into the building creates a welcoming impression, promoting cultural understanding and exchange between Bosnians and native St. Louisans. Spaces within the center are multi-functional, with the entire building facing Mecca so that any rooms may be used for prayer. The program calls for interior and exterior café spaces, a multi-functional conference room, a commercial grade kitchen, offices, classrooms, a multi-functional gymnasium, locker rooms, and restrooms equipped with ablution areas.
This project is also unique in the respect that several mosque members will contribute their skills and labor to build the facility, as many local Bosnians work in the construction industry.