United Sherpa Association Cultural Center

Elmhurst, New York

Program: Cultural Center
Area: 16,800 sf
Status: Design Completed 2016, Building Equity Initiative with Silman 2023

The United Sherpa Association, (Sherpa Kyidug), is a non-profit association that seeks to create a common platform and opportunities for preserving and promoting socio-cultural heritage of the Sherpa community.  The goal is to support mutual cooperation within the Sherpa community and other communities.   While currently located in Elmhurst, they envision a new expanded cultural center to create a facility to gather for prayer service, group activities, social support, and public information. The shine (prayer space) will be located on the main floor with classrooms / offices above and the library occupying the top floor.  A large community center will be located below grade available to the general public.  The design incorporates both contemporary and traditional expression. A solid masonry wall at the base encloses the shrine while a vertical glass component emerges above the thick wall to define the classrooms/offices which are looking to the future.  On the upper floor, the iconic roof-line will shelter the library while creating a beacon to the community.  In 2022, Heim Architect returned, with the esteemed structural engineering firm Silman as part of their BEI program, to prepare a study showing possible future phasing for the project.