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New Ismaili Center Set to Open in Houston, Texas

DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky chosen to lead design team for the first Ismaili Center in the United States

Houston, Feb. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky announced today that it has been selected by The Ismaili Council for the USA to lead design of the Ismaili Center in Houston alongside London-based design architect Farshid Moussavi and landscape architect Nelson Byrd Woltz. DLR Group|WRL, which was recently ranked the #1 Cultural design firm by BD World Architecture, was awarded the role of executive architect and architect of record through an international design competition. This will be the second collaboration between DLR Group|WRL and Farshid Moussavi Architecture, following design of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland.

The future site of the Ismaili Center near downtown Houston. Photo courtesy of the Ismaili Council for the USA.


The new Ismaili Center will be located at the intersection of Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard just west of downtown Houston. It will be the seventh in a series of iconic cultural buildings His Highness the Aga Khan has commissioned over the past four decades in the United Kingdom, Canada, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, and Tajikistan. Once complete, the center will serve as a national hub for the social, cultural, and intellectual activities of the Ismaili Muslim Community.

“We are very honored to partner with the Ismaili community to bring this historic building to life,” said DLR Group|WRL Senior Principal, Paul Westlake, FAIA, FACHA, who leads the firm’s Cultural+Performing Arts Studio. “Houston is home to one of the largest Ismaili Muslim populations in North America, and the new center will serve as a place where community members can learn, pray, and engage in fellowship. Our team is privileged to have been chosen for a project that will have such a lasting impact on the local community and beyond.” 

The Ismaili Center in Houston will serve the city’s approximately 40,000 Ismaili Muslims and is expected to include a Jamatkhana, or prayer hall, educational spaces, a social hall, and several multi-purpose meeting and conference spaces. Design has already begun for this significant project.  

Barkat Fazal, President of the Ismaili Council for the USA said, “We are excited to be working with architects of world stature and experience to design this unique project. It will embody both Houston’s and the Ismaili community’s pluralistic vision.” 

About DLR Group
DLR Group is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. Our promise is to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients; local communities; and our planet. DLR Group|WRL is 100 percent employee-owned and fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge, and is an initial signatory to the China Accord and the AIA 2030 Commitment.

Westlake Reed Leskosky joined DLR Group in September 2016. Today, the combined design expertise and resources of Westlake Reed Leskosky and DLR Group serve clients as a global, integrated design firm committed to elevating the human experience through design.



Erin Van Zee
DLR Group