Study – Islamic Architecture in the Malay Peninsula Part 5 – Modernistic Style

Apparently WordPress had some problems with uploading pics and putting it into the blogs so I will finish this study series of articles first, and then we will move on to the posts about the Museum of Islamic art in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Graeme Maclean. Original uploader was Egard89 at en.wikipedia

The National Mosque of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur

Another style of Islamic architecture in the Malay Peninsula is the Modernistic style – the style that is void of any historical revivalism and any ornamentation. In this style of architecture, it is derived from traditional profiles minus the decoration and ornamentation. For example, the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia derives from traditional Mosque architecture with a modern interpretation. The conical, ‘folded’ roof looked like an opening umbrella – Royal umbrella, to be specific – alluding the fact that the mosque is a National one.

Materials used for this style of mosques are the ones used for any other modern buildings – steel, glass, polished stone, concrete, simple ceramic tiles and such. One can easily see the techniques as well as the materials used for this style of mosque are similar to modern skyscrapers and towers. Certainly the interior would be in line with modern style in a secular environment with clean uncluttered lines, usage of polished stone such as marble, in neutral colours such as whites and blacks. Perhaps the most traditional decorated place of this style of mosques would be the Mihrab and the Qiblat wall. For example, the main prayer hall of the  National Mosque of Malaysia are decorated with stained glass, railings with geometric design, the walls covered with Zillij tiles and the Mihrab in the style of Moor/Moroccan arch with carvings and a wooden carved Minbar.

The Interior of the National Mosque of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

One can say that this style of architecture, apart to impress people, is a symbolic move to show that Islam is not stagnant and only relevant for the days gone by but it is a progressive,dynamic religion that can be applied to modern daily lives.


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