The Makki Masjid gave ZED Architects a chance to participate in the building of a religious/community center from a very early stage of the design process. Working with the alderman, the neighborhood organizations and the neighbors, ZED Architects worked with the owners throughout the zoning approval process. The building combines a religious worship space, a community room and an educational center. With limited space on the site, the three functions were stacked on three levels. By providing green space at the corner of Bernice Avenue and Ainslie Street, the mosque allows for some separation from the neighboring residential properties. The interior spaces are lit by generous high windows and from the clerestory at the base of the dome. This building exemplifies the work of a community pooling its resources to create a local center that meets both the community’s day-to-day functions and its spiritual needs.