Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #34 – Modern Islamic Architecture

Now that I have a (most of the time) stable internet connection, I can now write posts on a regular basis again after quite some time of unintended negligence of the blog. Yay!

For this 33rd Imagining Islamic Aesthetics post, I would like to discuss about the modern Islamic architecture or also known as contemporary Islamic architecture ; modern as in clean minimalistic style of architecture (in my opinion and seeing with my untrained eyes) combined with the elegance and traditional Islamic motifs and patterns.

In recent years, architects (whom are really unnecessarily Muslims themselves) prefer to combine modern aesthetics with traditional Islamic designs rather than to strictly follow older Islamic architecture and blueprints – this is particularly true for modern Mosques or other Islamic related buildings such as Syaria (Islamic law) courts and the like. Usually, modern Islamic architecture does not stick to one particular Islamic style but rather combination of different styles. This amalgamation of old and new is also utilized for secular buildings in Arab countries.

King Faisal Mosque in Islamabad Pakistan. This mosque is the brainchild of a Turkish designer Vedat Dakolay who took inspiration from Bedouin Arab tribes tents and the minarets from his own home country, combined with sleek modern features  and is considered one of the most outstanding contemporary Islamic architecture.

Author - Nepenthes

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The tower is designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, designers of many contemporary skyscrapers and tall buildings all over the world. The design is said to be inspired by Islamic pattern and it is said that when one views the tower form above or below the tower, it invokes the sight of Islamic domes. It is now one of the tallest skyscraper in the world.

Author – Donnyhoca

The Mihrab and Prayer Hall of the Şakirin Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. The architect of the Mosque is a local architect Hüsrev Tayla, while the interior designer is Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu, said to be the first female interior designer to work for a mosque. According to Turkish press it is one of the most modern mosque in Turkey.

The KLCC or the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was the tallest tower in the world from 1998 to 2004 before the title was taken over by Taipei 101. Designed by the Argentinian architects César Pelli and Djay Cerico the buildingwas build over the course of seven years. Cross-section of the building reveals that the architects used the traditional Islamic eight-pointed star for the towers, as well as the facade to be designed resembling Islamic patterns.





Filed under Imagining Islamic Aesthetic

2 responses to “Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #34 – Modern Islamic Architecture

  1. David Struik

    Thanks for the new post! I think it’s of quite important to cover modern islamic art and architecture more extensive.
    A lot of publications and articles divide islamic art in old art and postmodern art. For some countries only older architecture is documented (see for example the just published book ‘Building Iran: Modernism, Architecture, and National Heritage…’).
    The postmodern art is usually superficial and iconographic – Dubai, office towers in Tehran, apartment blocks in Amman, etc.
    As a result there’s a lack of balanced examples, honest expressions of a modern islamic life.
    Along with the Aga Khan program modern art and architecture should be stimulated and covered by media.

    • No problem! I was really trying to get modern Islamic art and architecture into this blog instead of just concentrating on older, traditional ones. And I do browse the internet and bookstores for inspiration and/or reading materials and I do understand most of the publications tend to categorize Islamic art into traditional and modern. As I am living in Brunei, one of the youngest nations in the world, there were plenty of examples of modern Islamic art and architecture being used alongside traditional Bruneian motifs.

      I will try to cover modern Islamic aesthetics, but I did do a small short post about the controversial Park51 Muslim community building in New York, of course, without the political matters. 🙂

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