Study – Islamic Architecture in the Malay Peninsula Part 5 – Modern Vernacular Style

Modern Vernacular refers to buildings constructed mainly with reinforced concrete frame, plastered with brick. The term is considered vernacular in reference to the construction practice and the availability of the said materials.

Credit to Mohamed Yosri Mohamed Yong.

Masjid Al-Azhariah, Shah Alam, Selangor Malaysia

Mosques) in this style usually uses the profile of gabled or pyramid roofing on which sits a small dome or grander ones would have a larger dome over the main prayer area. The mosques in this style usually have only one central prayer area, with a women’s prayer area  in a corner or the rear part of the main prayer hall partitioned with curtains or movable screens – shows that special women’s area is an afterthought for this style of mosques. They also features one or two minarets, sometimes with grand entryway like the Iwan gateway of the Persian architecture. The mosques in this style are usually built in modern housing estates, so the look of the mosque usually reflect as well as compliment the houses.

The compound of the mosques can be grouped into two components – One is that the compound of the mosque is fenced and much of the space used for parking lot, the other would be gardens. The back compound of the mosque usually have kitchen areas where Qurban (sacrifice) were held on Eid-el-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). These mosques were more communal and focuses on more services for the people who lived in the area of the mosques – they are often equipped with facilities such as a religious school or a Madrasa, community center, libraries, shops and even traveler’s lodgings and student dormitories. The usage of this mosque reflects closely the usage of the mosque in the time of the Prophet Muhammad, where his mosque had been used by the early Muslims as a community center.

Taken by User:Sengkang of English.Wikipedia in Mar 2006

Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka, Singapore

The construction of these mosques uses reinforced concrete frame with plastered brick infill. The roofs are usually asbestos corrugated tecks, clay tiles or metal decks, over a structure of timber or metal trusses. Floors are tiled and windows are made with aluminum frame. This whole system is used in concern for economy. The structure is usually built with a squaren plan, decorated with Islamic features such as domes and arches to distinguish the mosque and makes it identifiable.



1 Comment

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One response to “Study – Islamic Architecture in the Malay Peninsula Part 5 – Modern Vernacular Style

  1. Yosri

    Women area is usually set up as temporary area, due to the area is fully utililised for Friday prayers. In addition, then there are kuliah workshop, the partition is usually open to allow women a peek of the speakers. It is common features among mosque with limited spaces. Some bigger mosque may have women areas on sexond floors (also utilised for friday prayers by male.

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