The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, offers visitors a window into worlds unknown or unfamiliar: the artistic, intellectual, and scientific heritage of Muslim civilizations across the centuries, from the Iberian Peninsula to China.
Its mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage. Through education, research, and collaboration, the Museum will foster dialogue and promote tolerance and mutual understanding among people; while providing public engagement with over 1,000 permanent pieces of their collection, and an ever-changing roster of exhibitions, lectures, and workshops.
In designing the Museum, Fumihiko Maki, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, used light as his inspiration. Not only is light ever-present in the building, but depending on time, day, or season, it will animate the landscape in a myriad of ways: throwing patterns on the exterior walls of Brazilian granite, enhancing the interior spaces, or illuminating the open-roofed courtyard.
The Ismaili Toronto Center, located across the park, is connected to the Museum through a series of granite-lined pools in the formal gardens – designed by architect Vladimir Djurovic. The water in the pools mirror the elegant structures, and contribute to the garden’s purpose of providing a space for calm spiritual reflection and social engagement.