Message - Re: WHY A DOME ??

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Posted by  eileen on February 02, 2003 at 18:41:31:

In Reply to:  WHY A DOME ?? posted by dave on February 01, 2003 at 15:35:24:

From my work in Islamic forms and ornament which I have a relatively strong interest for their design aesthetic, I can tell you that the influence of a dome structure is the result of the influence of the Ottoman architect Sinan. He was active in the area of Istanbul and was influenced most dramatically by St. Sophia's Cathedral or Hagia Sophia as it is presently called. It was a Byzantine structure created in the time of Justinian. For roughly 900 years it was a church and the largest domed structure in the world until the construction of St. Pauls, and St. Peters in Europe.

Other previous periods of design were not focussed on a hemisherical dome. Many early mosques were the same as Hagia Sophia, adaptations of existing architecture. In Toledo Spain, the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz. It is estimated that it was a church dating from Visigoth era. Adapted to a mosque somewhere in the late 1st millenium, it returned to functioning as a Catholic Church in 1085. It features a distinctive trio of arches that are moorish. It is domeless.

If you have ever seen pictures of Hagia Sophia immense dome structure, just embrace the scale of an earlier architect observing it. Its something that is not ever dismissed. There are other influences inherent in the choices of mathematical and cosmological factors over natural forms that are apparent in later domed mosque architecture. Islamic architecture and decoration is steeped in an expression of the interrealtedness of things. The expansion of the Ottoman empire that filled the gap of the declining Byzantine empire, held sway for over 600 years and occupied at its height a territory that was smaller only than that of the Greeks and Romans. That magnitude of empire also contributed to the influence of the dome with some local adaptations.
If you want to understand more of the purposefulness and focus of that type of design, you might pick up two books that will fill in some blanks. Splendors of Islam- Architecture Decoration and Design by Clevenot and DeGeorge, read chapter on Supporting Forms and Supported Forms p.194-201. Other book explains the cosmological basis of the geometries expressed. Keith Critchlow's, Islamic Pattern - an Analytical and Cosmological Approach. As far as I have been able to gleen one of the basis of that particular faith is brotherhood which I take to characterize a concept of interdependence and interrealtionship. The geometries used which hae been well adapted to integrate into the domed structure. Artistic and well planned expression of planetary observations and cycles are all over those buildings when you start to examine the math of the stellar patterns.

It's a wonderful interpretation of the face of God. That solitary shepard's world of an intense starlit night sky that Abraham (or Abrahim) originated Judiasm, Christianity and Islam.

We interpret things a bit differently here. but it is pretty amazing to walk into a mosque in that part of the world and witness the impact of architecture on worship. I have been thru a great many of those mosques from the 16th century.

I work on alot of Catholic eccliastical projects. Each expression of architecture based on faith have pretty exacting philosophies behind them, if you bother to examine them with open eyes.

Good Luck on whatever that question relates to.


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