Study – Islamic Architecture in the Malay Peninsula – Part 2 – Sino-Eclectic

This article is the continuation of the past post, Islamic Architecture in the Malay Peninsula.

The term Sino-Eclectic comes from two different terms ; Sino, meaning Chinese, denoting the Chinese influence and Eclectic, meaning two or more different influences of architecture.

There are two forms of mosques in this category – three tiered pyramidal roof and double tier pyramidal roof. Other than these differences in roof, the two forms are basically the same. The other difference these two forms were curvature of the roof ridges.

Mosques in the Sino-eclectic were built sitting on ground, unlike the Traditional Vernacular which is raised. They were put on slabs of concrete as foundation for the buildings where stone stairs connects the ground and the main building. The floor plan of the mosques in this style is quite similar to the Traditional Vernacular where the mosque is built in a square shaped plan, with veranda either surrounding the building or on three sides. The mosques are usually surrounded with masonry fencing with a gateway similar to that of a Chinese pagoda. A masonry pool acts as an ablution area and there are almost always a cemetery patch in the mosque compound. As mosques of this style were usually built in dense urban areas,t also features a relaxing environment with shady trees and seating where worshipers can socialize or relax after prayers.

The roof ridges were sometimes decorated in vegetal motifs, while the roofs are topped with Mastaka, a sculpture that resembles the Buddhist headdress. The rrof is made out of timber, supported by four main pillars and either nine or twelve perimeter pillars. The walls are masonry, while the doors and windows frames were made of timber. Floors are made out of concrete and often tiled. Usually thre are at last three doors on each wall except for the Qibla Wall.


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