The design of Raj Rewal draws inspiration from Islamic philosophy and vocabulary of design assimilates Iberian Peninsula's architectural traditions and is innovative in terms of contemporary construction technology. It is influenced by morphology of traditional spatial arrangements of courtyards (Allahmbra, Fatehpur Sikri) concept of the paradise garden and Islamic patterns.
In the Ismaili Centre architectural heritage is reinterpreted in terms of functional requirements and the concept of the site in Lisbon. The public spaces of design like Jamatkhana, Social Hall and Community facilities are grouped around seperate courtyards on the ground floor. The first floor is reserved for educational, institutional and Aga Khan Foundation areas around smaller enclosures of courtyards. The six courtyards and external spaces are landscaped with fountains, running water and appropriate foliage.