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The Architecture of Persuasion
Architecture as Space
The Architecture of the Strip - Las Vegas Styles
TENDER DOCUMENTS For the Procurement of Construction Works
Architecture as Symbol
Calculation of Ventilation
Gothic Architecture

TERMENI importanti pentru acest document

Islamic Architecture

Plan of Mosque:

Great Mosque at Damascus

Exterior of Mosque- “primary place of worship”

Box shaped or basilican shaped (Byzantine influence, Early Christian influence)

Square, tall towers- call to prayer from minarets


Long east-west axis

-relatively plain on exterior (Kufa), but moved to Spain became more decorated

-exterior is not monumental yet

v     Mosques different in various parts of Muslim world shape wise.

Arab vs. Muslim


624 AD direction of prayer changes from Jerusalem to Mecca

Nationalizes religion for Arabs

Islam = “submission to will of God”

Five Pillars of Islam:

Shahada or profession of faith

Simple statement of faith

“There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.”

Daily Prayer

5 times a day from early morning to evening

Facing Mecca, Ka’aba (Pagan sanctuary)

Principal prayers Friday noon

Provision for prayer fundamental in mosque design


More important than in Christianity

Led to large number of architectural dedications

Fasting during month of Ramadan

Necessary to abstain from food, drink, sex

Difficult during daylight hours

Follows lunar calendar so varies during solar years

Pilgrimage to Mecca

Trip to Mecca at least once during your lifetime

Haj (pilgrimage) noted in house decoration of those who make journey

Umayyad vs. Abbassid periods:

Umayyad= Caliphate of Damascus

      • 700 AD Muawiyah moved capital to Damascus following death of Ali, last orthodox Caliph
      • growing strength of secular influences: fond of wine and poetry
      • influence of ‘western tradition’ of Greece, Rome, and Byzantium
      • first building were build in Damascus
      • fled to Spain when replaced by Abassid

Abassid= Caliphate of Baghdad

      • 800 AD
      • Capital moved from Damascus to Baghdad (circular plan)
      • influence of ‘eastern traditions of Persia (square plan)
      • period of cultural achievements and comparison with Europe
      • Kupa= represent plan if not reusing , if were reusing change to face Mecca


-the prayer wall

-the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays

-most mosques have a niche in the wall that indicates the qibla

-once was in Jerusalem but now faces Ka’aba in Mecca


-an Islamic religious school

-did not exist in early times, school held in mosques

-courts located parallel to the qibla, thus continuing an established tradition of incorporating education with worship (law and religion = higher education)

Important Buildings:

House of Mohammad, “House of the Prophet in Medina

  • 622 AD
  • little enclosed space

Basic elements:

-Sahn or courtyard

-source of water for cleansing

-call to prayer from minaret

-Mimbar or speaker’s platform

-prayer hall and quibla wall

-Quibla aisle and transverse aisle

-prayer hall facade

Mosque of Kufa

640 AD

  • In Iraq, garrison town type

Basic elements:

-reversal of position of prayer hall from one side of court to other

-increased numbers of living units

Great Mosque of Damascus

  706-14 AD

  • City taken by Arabs in 635 AD

Basic elements:

-plan follows basilican shape of Syrian Christian church

-long east-west axis used for rank and file organization of congregations

-reuse of church, door opened in north wall

-representative of mosques in Christian west

-minaret developed form corner tower of Roman temple

-mihrab in qibla wall from apse of Christian church

Dome of Rock

  • 700-25 AD
  • A victory monument on hill top
  • Central shrine around which the faithful could circulate
  • Location on Mount Moriah (site of jewish temple, site for Abraham’s sacrifice of Issac)

Basic Elements:

-source of building type in Byzantine arch

-centralized plan popular for tomb, baptistery, martyrium

-rubber walls with interior columnar supports carrying wooden roof

-double octagon of inner and outer series of piers

-focus of center of “rock” beneath dome

-interpretation of mosaics and inscriptions

-inscriptions from Koran emphasize victory of Islam over ‘Children of the Book’

-decorative elements and symbols of royal houses of defeated peoples


  • One of most important groups of Islamic buildings in world in Granada, Spain
  • Tradition of palace arch in Islamic world
  • Garden is most important symbol for paradise in Islamic world
  • On Iberian Peninsula in city of Granada set in foothills of mountains
  • Built from Nasrid period to Christian period


-built over long period of time but many different kings (300yrs)

-irregular terrain and change of grade levels

-sequence and ceremony

-no façade

-no destination

-materials included strong fortified walls of stone, timber and plaster

-Parallel and perpendicular axes- no system of organization

-water systems


-Ornament- wood, marble, plaster, metal, arches, screens, channels

-bright light, layers of space with varying light

-Mexuar Palace, Comares Palace, Palace of Lions, Bath, Partal, Generallife

-private v. public space

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