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Islamic Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

Architecture Classic: al-Nouri Mosque / Nur ad-Din Zangi

Islamic architecture has been perhaps one of the most culturally significant typologies throughout history. Not only do the buildings themselves serve as centers for community and social services, but their designs reflect Muslim beliefs and morals, and reveal the rich history of nations in the Middle East.

Minaret. East View in 1930s. Image © World Monuments Fund CollectionMan seated before the Mihrab in the prayer hall, after reconstruction in 1944. Image © General Authority of AntiquitiesDestroyed Post-War Mosque. Image © UNESCO3D Model of Mosque Today. Image © UNESCO+ 19

WAFAI Architecture and Fragomeli+Partners Design an Islamic Cultural Center in Piedmont, Italy

Wafai Architecture and Fragomeli+partners, two architecture practices based in Torino, Italy have imagined an Islamic cultural center in the Piedmont area. The project features a mosque and a center for cultural and social activities, a space that promotes constructive dialogues.

Courtesy of Wafai Architecture and Fragomeli+partnersCourtesy of Wafai Architecture and Fragomeli+partnersCourtesy of Wafai Architecture and Fragomeli+partnersCourtesy of Wafai Architecture and Fragomeli+partners+ 7

The Great Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo: from Historic Islamic Monument to War Battlefield

via AFP / Getty Images
via AFP / Getty Images

Islam, other than describing a religious belief, is a word that identifies a unique type of architecture that dates back thousands of years. It has been formed by a civilization that transformed the qualities of this belief into visible and tangible material, building structures with a striking focus on details and experiences within enclosed spaces. 

Islamic architecture is an architecture that does not change its form easily. In fact, its principles have been more or less the same since thousands of years ago, with minor changes based on functional adaptations. To this day, hundreds of buildings still stand as a representation of the history of Islamic architecture and are still used just as they have been in the past.

War, however, has no religion or cultural nostalgia, and even the holiest, most historically-significant sites are threatened with complete destruction. The Great Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, originally built by the first imperial Islamic dynasty and currently situated within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stood yet again as a battlefield during the recent Syrian War, but this time, lost its most significant and resilient element, an 11th-century Seljuk Minaret.

© George Ourfalian / AFPCourtesy of Wikimedia CommonsCourtesy of SSNP Media WarsCourtesy of SSNP Media Wars+ 34

Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque Catches Fire During Notre Dame Blaze

While French firefighters were putting out the destructive blaze at the Notre Dame Cathedral, another holistic site was also up in flames. Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is among the holiest sites in Islam and was built almost 1,300 years ago, was struck by blaze while the monumental Catholic Church was also devastated with fire.

The fire is said to have started in the Al-Marwani Prayer Hall - also known as Solomon's Stables - part of the same compound as Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Fortunately, firemen of the Islamic Waqf department of the city were able to control the fire before any harm was done to the individuals or the other prayer halls. While the cause remains unknown, sources claim that the fire could have been ignited accidentally by children who were near the prayer hall at the time.