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Islamic architecture


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Term covering a huge range of buildings and stylistic variations, but generally associated with buildings connected with the followers of Mohammed, or Muslims. Islamic architecture has several characteristic features, including the pointed, multifoil, low, wide, four-centred, and horseshoe arch, the muqarna or stalactite corbel, cladding of coloured glazed earthenware and patterned tilework, fretted gables of stone, marble, or stucco, and, above all, coherent and serene geometry. Domes, minarets, cloisters, and elaborate battlements, often of the almena type, are commonly associated with Islamic buildings.

Islamic architecture has influenced design in the West, notably the pointed arch and cusping in the medieval period, and the stylistic aspects of so-called Moresque architecture in which elements of Islamic, especially Moorish (e.g. the Alhambra, Granada, Spain), architecture were used as part of the European enchantment with exotic oriental styles in C18 (e.g. the work of Chambers at Kew) and C19 (e.g. Persius's steam-engine house at Potsdam (1841–2), and Aitchison's Arab Hall in Kensington (1877–9).See also moorish architecture.

Ashraf & Belluardo (eds.) (1998);Builder & Builder (1994);Conner (1979);Cruickshank (ed.) (1996);Ettinghausen & Grabar (1988);Hillenbrand (1994);Hoag (1986);Lampugnani (ed.)& Dinsmoor (1986);Petersen (1996);Jane Turner (1996)

Subjects: Architecture.


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