Islam and Architecture.

Essay by hereOHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2004

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Islam and Architecture

From the early days of Islamic religion, the Islamic architecture has been developed in many different territories with various styles and cultures. Disregarding their different civilizations or backgrounds, the Islamic faith united them under one religion, allowing them to build unique religious architectures in many different geographic regions. These architectures are well known for their gorgeous calligraphic ornamentation and geometrical patterns as well as being a pious place for the prayers. Revealing the Islamic faith through the gorgeous decoration including calligraphic ornamentation and arabesque patterns along with the form of mosque, the Islamic architecture had long influenced the Western World and styles of other structures.

Decoration plays a very important role in Islamic architectures. In Architecture of the Islamic World, Dalu Jones writes, "decoration has linked building and objects from all over the Islamic world-from Spain to China to Indonesia." Traditionally, people used little furniture in daily life in Islam therefore decoration contributed to the creation of continuous space that is a hallmark of Islamic architecture.

Jones also mentions, "The layers of surface decoration are increased and the complexity of visual effects enriched by the use of carpets and cushions, which often reflect the same decorative schemes as those found on walls and ceilings" (Jones). In the decorations, Islamic design may seem limited to two dimensions, however, the character of Islamic design indicates three dimensional possibilities. The interlacing designs, for example, usually go with variations in color and texture, show the illusion of different planes. Islamic decoration becomes complex, luxurious, and elaborate by using reflecting and shining materials and glazes with the repeating of designs. This repetition and multiplication along with calligraphy and geometry become the foundation of Islamic architecture:

Space is defined by surface and since surface is articulated by decoration, there is an intimate...