SNMC Masjid: Design Vision, Windows, Entrance and Domes, Emdad Khan
SNMC Center and Masjid which vividly shows Muslims presence in the heart of Barrhaven, serving since June 1998, is a unique family and community-oriented service organization in its name, structure, and activities.
In 2011 summer, SNMC appointed a local Ottawa architect for the building design. But the project committee, already had a vision and board agreement about the would be building, its overview etc. Few of the major decisions were to build the structure as close as possible to the main road and be aligned with the neighbouring buildings beside the Woodroffe Ave.
We designed the building to have six very large windows at the front side, facing the Woodroffe Ave as well as the two adjacent sides. We also designed at 45-degree angles from Woodroof Ave entrance, next to mini minaret, clearly visible wall height structures to put large green display signs, SNMC Center and Masjid.
All the above items were purposely designed and implemented with clear objectives and vision. The masjid, being close to Woodroof Ave with 6 large windows, to show that Islam encourages Muslims to build peaceful individual, family and community-oriented lives. Every activity, 5 times daily, both daytime and nighttime, 365 days, performed are visible to every person who passes Woodroffe Ave by walking, by car or by buses in both directions.
SNMC occupied this new building on, 17 December 2014, and by first few months of 2015, good number of persons and families, Muslims and not Muslims, were impressed by seeing the inside activities from the Woodroffe Ave and later visited snmc masjid to know more about Islam and Muslim place of worship, the masjid.
The 45-degree angle signs on the Woodroffe are clearly visible to people passing from both directions with its green display, SNMC Center and masjid. The purpose is to clearly identify the masjid and community center at the heart of Barrhaven and which is now acting as a landmark building for Barrhaven.
The name, SNMC (South Nepean Muslim Community), implies, the Muslims of diverse background from over 50 different countries live in Barrhaven. The green/blue color and the logo indicate Muslims we are conscious of environment and we invite everyone from South Nepean to come and participate in the community and masjid activities. In fact, every year, snmc with the city of Ottawa observes Doors Open Ottawa during first weekend of June and few thousand students, from over 20 different Ottawa High schools, visit snmc to know about islam and observe Muslims while praying.
A small but unique mini minaret and domes with crescent are the signs of Muslim architecture, place of worship and their presence in Barrhaven. SNMC team placed 3 beautiful gold color domes (at the center of the roof, at the top of minaret and at the top of mihrab) made using fibre glass, low cost but easily replaceable. The domes and minaret, along with SNMC and Canada flags, added to the beauty of the building.
SNMC worked with the city of Ottawa planning department to have an entrance from the Woodroffe Ave for visible identification and easy access. The second, back-side entrance from the Spring Beauty street facilitates easy access from the neighbouring communities. SNMC building matches with the two adjacent building in structure and color to Kelly Funeral home and French public school, thus, snmc became blended as part of the mainstream community in Barrhaven.