In the early 1970s, the first Muslim community in Albuquerque held their Juma' services at the University of New Mexico Chapel, and later in the back of a Muslim businessman's store. The Islamic Center of New Mexico (ICNM), the first mosque in Albuquerque, opened in December 1986. That building was subsequently demolished and replaced with a new mosque that opened in October 2006. This record is for the original 1986 Islamic Center of New Mexico. Information about the current ICNM is also available on Archnet.
The building was designed by Bart Prince, an American architect and leading proponent of organic architecture. The building had no traditional elements of Islamic architecture except for the qibla orientation and mihrab. The white building was shaped like a series of large steps, with rectangular towers with tall, narrow windows. Inside, the space was essentially one large hall, with a temporary partition dividing the men's space from the women's during prayer times. The ceiling stepped up in tiers, supported by thick wooden beams and rafters of bronze-colored pipe.
Of his non-traditional design, Prince stated that arches and domes "were for their own time and place. It's kind of silly to do that now." The design was somewhat controversial among some members of the congregation, though ultimately it was the size of the mosque that led it to be replaced: this building could accommodate 250 people, and the new Center would hold 600.