In September 2018, Londoners and tourists will have the chance to experience the true beauty of the Islamic culture in King’s Cross.
Designed by Pritzker Prize winner, Fumihiko Maki, the Aga Khan Centre, which was officially opened in June, will blend Islamic traditions to create a wonderful mosaic of their culture.
This will be Britain’s largest collection of Islamic gardens, as part of the new Muslim education hub in the capital. Six landscaped gardens, terraces, courtyards and open spaces will be showcased to celebrate different Muslim cultures from around the world.
The six gardens will include a covered “loggia” with a central fountain; a terrace inspired by the cloisters of southern Spain, Morocco and Egypt; a “courtyard of harmony” reminiscent of an “iwan” (a three-sided outdoor room found in the Middle East and Central Asia); a rooftop space based on the gardens of the Mughal empire; a “terrace of discovery” inspired by a Persian throne known as a “talar”, and a “garden of light”.
The gardens are a core part of the newly opened Islamic studies hub, in the heart of King’s Cross regeneration. The ten-storey white limestone building will include The Institute of Ismaili Studies, the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, and the Aga Khan Foundation UK.
This garden ‘museum’ aims to promote the greater understanding of Muslim cultures. Matt Reed, chief executive of the Aga Khan Foundation UK, highlighted the role of the gardens as an entry point into discovering and understanding the history and cultures of the Muslim world as well as making new public spaces for London.
The spaces, collectively known as the “Islamic Gardens at King’s Cross” will be open for public tours from September 22nd, as well as annual events such as Open House London every autumn.