RK Builds Mosques
Islamic Center Of Greater St. Louis
This is the first of our mosque projects, which set us on a path to build five mosques (so far), complete numerous renovations, and expand two of them including their parking lots. In our formal role as Construction Managers we built the 41,640 SF, two story Al-Salam school and gym addition (above right and below left) in 2003 which is more than twice the size of the original building (above left), and in 2013 built a complex expansion of the womens’ prayer hall (below right) plus a small Islamic funeral home. Our relationships go back to 1993 with the Islamic community because we understand their needs. As a result we have picked up a few Arabic words such as mihrab, masjid, wadoo, juma, haditha, muezzin, and halal.
St. Louis Islamic Center - Nur
The Bosnian community hired RK to build their new mosque in 2013; the design was inspired by a traditional Turkish Ottoman mosque in Bosnia. Among the most interesting parts of the project are the roof-mounted minaret tower reaching 64’ high, a 24’ diameter dome over the men’s prayer hall, and three small domes on the front roof. Architect Killian Smith created the flyer on the right during construction.
In 2010 we built this 12,000 SF mosque in Bettendorf Iowa for the Muslim Center Quad Cities. Prominently visible is the two story glass curtain wall at the entry hall; another interesting detail is that we built it less than 10’ from one corner of the original MCQC building (an old farmhouse just to the right of the photo frame above) and consequently had to re-work part of the old building which was too close to the new MCQC, creating fire safety issues. In addition the new building was surrounded by a circular drive which kept space at a premium throughout construction; the original mosque hosted Friday services (jumas) along with other activities throughout the project duration so site coordination was crucial. The colorful rendering is architect Salim Rangwala’s original color scheme proposal, a beautiful work of art in and of itself.
NWIC (Northwest Islamic Center)
We completed the original building and site development of the five acre property in 2006. In laying out the foundations we discovered that the civil engineers had not oriented the building properly towards Mecca so we brought the owner’s rep out, he used a sextant-like instrument to calculate the proper bearing (it was about 13 degrees off) and we poured the footings knowing we had caught a catastrophic mistake. Then in 2011 we completed the Phase Two building and parking lot expansion more than doubling its size; the minaret was erected in Phase Two. Now in early 2021 we are pricing plans to more than double the building to a total of 17,052 SF which will include classrooms and multi-purpose space in addition to the prayer halls.
New mosque building and site development in Wildwood MO built in 2006. This is the only Shia mosque we have built, the rest being Sunni; one difference is that Dar-al-Zahra does not have the ritual washing stations (“wadoos”) found in all the other mosques we have built. The photos below show the wood structure prior to and during installation of the dome.
Al Tawheed Islamic Center
File this one under “the fish that got away”. Early in 2015 RK submitted a proposal to replace the original mosque in Jersey City NJ which had perished in a fire; the new building would be much bigger at three stories and 38,000 SF. It would fit tightly between two existing buildings and presented a real challenge; it was designed with a ‘raft’ style combination footing and floor slab due to the geotechnical profile of the sandy soils so near the Hudson River. It also had a very interesting design employing the design seen above with a stone veneer and two minarets on the roof. Having worked in New York City before, when the building committee invited us to meet with them to discuss our $3.8 million proposal, we went to see them and while there took the photo on the right of the Freedom Tower in the World Trade Center and southern tip of Manhattan straight across the river. The meeting went well and we headed home with instructions to send them a contract—which we did immediately—but after several weeks found out they had decided their budget was too tight and they would have to act as their own general contractor in order to afford the project. We were understandably disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to build a really interesting and even landmark project! But this is part of being a contractor, just as it is for fishermen everywhere.