MOSQUE IN THE VALLEY: A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL GATHERING & CULTURAL LEARNING

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University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst Masters Theses Dissertations and Theses 2015 MOSQUE IN THE VALLEY: A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL GATHERING & CULTURAL LEARNING Nabila Iqbal University
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University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst Masters Theses Dissertations and Theses 2015 MOSQUE IN THE VALLEY: A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL GATHERING & CULTURAL LEARNING Nabila Iqbal University of Massachusetts Amherst Follow this and additional works at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/masters_theses_2 Part of the Architecture Commons Recommended Citation Iqbal, Nabila, MOSQUE IN THE VALLEY: A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL GATHERING & CULTURAL LEARNING (2015). Masters Theses https://scholarworks.umass.edu/masters_theses_2/274 This Open Access Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Dissertations and Theses at Amherst. It has been accepted for inclusion in Masters Theses by an authorized administrator of Amherst. For more information, please contact MOSQUE IN THE VALLEY: A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL GATHERING & CULTURAL LEARNING A Thesis Presented By NABILA IQBAL Submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in partial fulfillment Of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE September 2015 Department of Architecture Copyright by Nabila Iqbal 2015 All Rights Reserved MOSQUE IN THE VALLEY: A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL GATHERING & CULTURAL LEARNING A Thesis Presented By NABILA IQBAL Approved as to style and content by: Professor Kathleen Lugosch, Chair Professor Max Page, Member Professor Stephen Schreiber Chair, Department of Architecture DEDICATION To my parents Md Iqbal Faruque Khan and Rezina Sultana and beloved husband, Fahim Mahmud. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS All my sincere thanks to Professor Kathleen Lugosch and Professor Max Page, without who s insightful ideas and enormous inspiration I could not have went along with the project this far. Thank you so much Carl Fiocchi, for appreciating my thoughts. Cannot thank my parents any less for supporting me all the way through and always being the center of all inspiration and all my thoughts. At last but not the least I would like to thank the Department of Architecture for facilitating me with everything I needed to complete this thesis. v ABSTRACT MOSQUE IN THE VALLEY: A SPACE FOR SPIRITUAL GATHERING & CULTURAL LEARNING SEPTEMBER 2015 NABILA IQBAL, B.ARCH., BANGLADESH UNIVERSITY OF ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY M.ARCH., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST Directed by: Professor Kathleen Lugosch In the history of Architecture, religious structures have always awed people whether a person corresponds to the concerning religion or even he or she is not religious at all. Those structures have been patronized by the riches or the royal highnesses of the time and mostly got the utmost priority regarding planning and construction and the results have been magnificent. By the 16th century when Ottoman Empire (15-20th century) was spreading its dynasty, the world saw the emergence of an overwhelming spread of Islamic architecture as well. Even now one who enters the city of Istanbul or Damascus from the riverside will see series of domes, arches and minarets staggered along the topography. The hierarchical progression of the biggest and most attractive domes among them, which one could hardly miss are of the mosques. Time to time the social and commercial aspects of life started to redefine urban settlements and demanded for a space for spiritual devotion as well as religious learning and practices in groups. Getting together five times a day as instructed or every Friday for the afternoon where the Imam presents lectures not only on religious matters, contemporary matters and better ways to live in harmony with religious and contemporary concerns. It is the communal gathering of people that demanded for a large hall to pray and communicate with each other afterwards. The Intention of this thesis is to dig into some of the core aspects of the evolution of mosques, significance of its different parts and features and most importantly how those features as a whole are contributing to behold social and communal construct. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...v ABSTRACT... vi LIST OF FIGURES... viii CHAPTER 1. THESIS INTENT...1 Introduction...1 Objective Of Thesis BACKGROUND & HISTORICAL OVERVIEW...3 Brief History of Mosque architecture...3 Typical parts of a Mosque CASE STUDIES...10 Contemporary or Local Mosques...10 Non-Islamic Local and Contemporary Spiritual Structures THE SITE...16 Introduction To The Site...16 Climatic Characterisitics DESIGN ELEMENTS, CONCEPT & PROGRAM...23 Design Elements...23 Functional Elements/Program...25 Spiritual Elements DESIGN & ANALYSIS...32 Design Goals & Concept...32 Site Plan...36 Zoning and Design Layout...37 Floor Plans...38 Lighting Inside the Main Prayer Hall...40 Materials & Construction...42 REFERENCES...43 vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1- Haseki Kulliye at Istanbul Original Mosque of Madina,KSA and also the House of Prophet Muhammad PBUH The Mosque at Present, Also known as Masjid-Al-Nabawi Typical Parts of mosque (Kavuri-Bauer 2012) Chadgaon Mosque, Chittagong, Bangladesh floor plan of Chadgaon Mosque Sherefudin s White Mosque, Bosnia Floor plan of Sherefudin s White Mosque, Bosnia People having discussions Ample lighting created by carvings and cuts in the walls and roof Notre Dame de Haut Inside Notre Dame de Haut Site Location Calvin Coolidge Bridge on the left and The Elwell Island from a bird s eye view As seen from the wooden bridge On the island Explaining the concept of elements to design a mosque steps of ablution Steps of Muslim prayer Inside an old grand mosque viii 22- Man praying in a prayer hall, provision light creates extra ordinary mood of calmness Mosque in Jeddah on the Red Sea Inside Pantheon, Rome Inside Assembly hall, Dhaka People praying in a large prayer hall Conceptual Diagram Different Muslim Prayer times as determined according to sun position different and indifferent routes for getting to the complex Initial sketch keeping in mind preserving the wilderness Site Plan Darker blue representing general water level,lighter blue shows the water level while flooding Program Layout first floor plan second floor plan section showing vertical circulations, the prayer platform and relatiosship among spaces View as one approaches from the bridge View as one approaches from the river Non-muslims watching muslims pray from second floor level Light patterns start to fall on the platform in the morning The light from the transluscent, circular roof membrane froming light on the platform as it is time for Dhuhr As time goes by from Dhuhr to Asr, light patterns start to form on the platform When it is time for Asr, the light patterns starts to form on the walls instead of the platform ix CHAPTER 1 THESIS INTENT Introduction From the dawn of civilization human kind has been dwelling in this physical world always feeling the metaphysical existence of a super being. As time went by different religions have been preached in this world with different rituals and regulations. Islam was preached by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the 6 th century AD, and since then it has been one of the most influential religion around the world. The Holy Scripture is called The Quran and every Muslim has to follow the regulations described in the book. According to the book and Prophet s (PBUH) preaching a Muslim should pray five times a day. All it requires one is to clean himself or herself with water which is known as Wudhu and then face to the direction of the Kaaba, which is in the Holy Land of Mecca, Saudi Arabia and pray. It is recommended by the Prophet (PBUH) himself to pray in large groups following the commander (Imam) which will not only be more rewarding for the afterlife but more helpful to construct a stronger community in the neighborhood. Time to time the social and commercial aspects of life started to redefine urban settlements and demanded for a space for spiritual devotion as well as religious learning and practices in groups. Getting together five times a day as instructed or every Friday for the afternoon where the Imam presents lectures on religious matters, contemporary matters and better ways to live in harmony with religious and contemporary concerns. It is the communal gathering of people that demanded for a large hall to pray and communicate with each other afterwards. When someone is inside the mosque and a moment when the Muajjin calls upon to stand straight in line for prayer, everyone 1 capable of standing has to stand beside the next person touching his shoulder regardless of social status. This is also a lesson for social equity and an understanding that everyone is of same importance to God. During the prayer hundreds of thousands of people praying with the same verses spoken through the Imam, doing the same thing at the same time not only just uplifts the spirituality also teaches them how united they are and what they are capable when following and respecting the commands of their leader. One can perform his prayer alone in a corner of the mosque or can just sit in a corner of a mosque to get rid of the chaos of the outer world for a while. But a mosque is not just for praying, it is how one connects with God along with everybody else as a communal entity. To design a mosque in this modern time it is more important to understand and justify the adhering community. Objective of Thesis - To create a Mosque complex where people regardless of any religion are welcome - Inviting people inside the Main Hall but also maintaining the sacredness and secludeness 2 CHAPTER 2 BACKGROUND & HISTORICAL OVERVIEW Brief History of Mosque architecture In the history of Architecture, religious structures have always awed people whether a person corresponds to the concerning religion or even he or she is not religious at all. Those structures have been patronized by the riches or the royal highnesses of the time and mostly got the utmost priority regarding planning and construction and the results have been magnificent. By the 16th century when Ottoman Empire (15-20th century) was spreading its dynasty, the world saw the emergence of an overwhelming spread of Islamic architecture as well. Even now one who enters the city of Istanbul or Damascus from the riverside will see series of domes, arches and minarets staggered along the topography. The hierarchical progression of the biggest and most attractive domes among them, which one could hardly miss were of the mosques. Interestingly, those mosques where not built as individual structures, rather they were built as a part of larger complex known as Kulliye . Those kulliye s comprised of educational institutions (madrassa) and public baths. The mosque would be the place within the kulliye for spiritual remuneration. Let us have look at the earliest mosques for the Muslims in record where one of them, actually the second oldest one is evidently the house of the prophet Muhammad PBUH, the messenger of God, the preacher of religion Islam in Medinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he is also lying in peace. The first ever mosque was the Mosque of Quba 3 which was marked by positioning a few stones by Muhammad PBUH when he first arrived the city of Medina leaving the holy city of Mecca. Figure 1- Haseki Kulliye at Istanbul It is beside his house his followers used to meet and prayed in group (Jamayat). At that time they did not have the luxury to make an overwhelming structures. All they had was an open air building which later served as the model for future mosques. The mosque also served as a court, a community center and a religious school. Muhammad PBUH himself took part in the construction of it. At present that small little open air building is 4 turned into one of the largest mosque in the world with the maximum capacity of 1million people. One of the important feature is the green dome under which lies Muhammad PBUH in peace along with his two companions, the two caliphs Abu Bakar and Umar. There is also a place reserved for the body of prophet Isa (Jesus) as he is believed he will be resurrected. Figure 2- Original Mosque of Madina,KSA and also the House of Prophet Muhammad PBUH 5 Figure 3- The Mosque at Present, Also known as Masjid-Al-Nabawi Most of the magnificent mosques of the Ottoman empire were built under the supervision of the great Architect Sinan. By the time of Sinan most of the techniques and planning for designing and constructing mosques as well as kulliye s were well established. The later periods followed almost the same techniques except that they added more richness and varieties onto them. Mosques were built typically to consist of a central prayer hall, the wall facing Kaaba , the mihrab(place for the Imam or the Leader), one or more minarets and sometimes a courtyard surrounded by galleries or arched hallways. This arrangement was the most basic for building mosques over centuries and even in the present days. The Mughals (15-19th century) followed the same arrangements but experimented with the proportions of different parts of structure corresponding to site,climate, population and aesthetics producing some of the most 6 marvelous structures of the world. They reached the level of supremacy in terms of height and proportion of the domes calculated with visual perspectives of human eyes. Typical parts of a Mosque Other than some alterations typically a mosque consists of the following parts- The prayer Hall A prayer hall is where the main prayer is performed by group or individually. It is typically enclosed by all sides or given a sense of enclosure by series of columns or so. But it is always walled on the one side that is facing the Kaaba and all the Muslims has to face that wall while praying. The direction to Kaaba is referred to as Qibla Mihraab A mihraab is a space, typically a semicircular niche created by carving inside the wall facing the Kaaba. It sometimes can be seen from the outside wall. This Mihraab is the place where the Imam will be standing to conduct the prayer. Mimbaar A Mimbaar is a platform reached by steps which is normally kept at the right side of the mihraab. This mimbar is used by the Imam or a preacher to speak to everybody, 7 especially in the Jumma , the friday afternoon prayer or any other social or religious occassion like Eid or weddings. Ablution Area Earlier mosques used to have an ablution space as it is obligatory to perform ablution before praying. It could be a well or a fountain as per local availability. Now -a-days it is replaced by toilets with ablution facilities. Figure 4- Typical Parts of mosque (Kavuri-Bauer 2012) 8 Minaret A minaret is the tower with a spiral stair inside to reach the top The Muajjin , the caller to perform the Adhan , the call for pray would climb the top five times a day so that his voice could reach the farthest corner possible. This was before the innovaion of microphones and amplifiers. Now-a-days there is one or more speakers are placed on top of the minaret and the Muajjin performs the Adhan from inside the mosque using a microphone. There are still stairs inside for maintenance. Dikka A Dikka is a raised platform,placed parallel to the qibla wall. It would be used by a group of followers of the Imam to repeat and convey his commands for different postures of prayer so that it could be heard by the people behind. Nowadays they are also replaced by loud speakers and microphones. Imam's Quarter Sometimes the Imam might live adjacent or inside the mosque complex which requires a Imam's quarter. It can be adjoined to the building or at a corner inside the main building complex. 9 CHAPTER 3 CASE STUDIES Two types of cases where included in the precedent studies, type one, contemporary and local mosques and type two, also contemporary spiritually overwhelming structures but non-islamic. They are chosen and analyzed in the basis of form, functionality, spatial organization and most importantly their unique way of reflecting a universal value of spirituality and togetherness. The spatial organizations and connections among different spaces are represented by colors where blue defines circulation, yellow is for main prayer hall and orange stands for other amenities like classrooms, seminars etc. Contemporary or Local Mosques Chadgaon Mosque,Chittagong,Bangladesh The Chadgaon Mosque is one milestone in modern architecture as seeks to fulfil the traditional role of a mosque as both a place of spirituality and as a gathering place for the community (ArchDaily 2010). Siting it on the suburban periphery of the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh, the architect, Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury has identified the essential elements of a mosque to create a new form and articulation for a typology that goes back for a millennium and a half. 10 Figure 5- Chadgaon Mosque, Chittagong, Bangladesh Figure 6- floor plan of Chadgaon Mosque With its bold form and geometric clarity, the mosque stands apart from many such structures that have come out of the traditiona of typical mosque and makes a definitive architectural statement pointing to the contemporary, to a desire to live in spaces that reflect the universal values of the present day. Sherefudin s White Mosque, Bosnia 11 First construction was completed in 1477, but it was completely reconstructed and finished in 1980 by Architect Zlatko Ugljen in Visoko, Bosnia-Herzegovina for the Muslim Community of Visoko. Its most notable award came in 1983, when it was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The mosque was commended for its boldness, creativity and brilliance, as well as its originality and innovation. (AKAA 2007) Figure 7- Sherefudin s White Mosque, Bosnia Figure 8- Floor plan of Sherefudin s White Mosque, Bosnia 12 Figure 9- People having discussions Figure 10-Ample lighting created by carvings and cuts in the walls and roof 13 Non-Islamic Local and Contemporary Spiritual Structures Notre Dame de Haut by Le Corbusier In the history of Modern Architecture Notre Dame de Haut by Le Corbusier stands out as a masterpiece that not only beholds the grandness that it demands by function to be reconstructed church which is also a site for pilgrimage, but also its structural integrity with form and function, lighting gesture speaks through its own proportion that mesmerizes the people who gets inside and turns their body and mind to a state of submittance to the Highness. The structure projects a sensational sense of primitiveness and modernity too which makes it more profound in its site and make us feel that the structure is part of the site and belongs there since eternity. Figure 11- Notre Dame de Haut 14 Figure 12- Inside Notre Dame de Haut 15 CHAPTER 4 THE SITE Introduction To The Site The towns of Amherst, Hadley and Northampton both have histories and stories of their own regarding their culture, traditions, businesses, colleges, industries and so on. The Connecticut river runs in between the towns of Hadley and Northampton and Route 9 is the major highway that runs over the river as the Coolidge Bridge. Parallel to the Coolidge Bridge is the old Norwuttok rail trail bridge 1, now renovated as a wooden pedestrian and bikers' bridge. While passing by one can hardly miss the island rising from the river, part of the wooden bridge rests on Elwell Island. 1 The Norwottuck Rail Trail is an 11 mile path linking Northampton, Hadley, and Amherst along the former Boston & Main Railroad right-of-way. Both ends of the path offer free parking for trail users Elwell State Park on Damon Road in Northampton and Station Road in South Amherst. Public restrooms are available at the parking area at Elwell Recreation Area. The bridge runs over the river Connecticut. 16 Figure 13- Site Location Figure 14- Calvin Coolidge Bridge on the left and Norwuttok Rail Trail Bridge on the right 17 Figure 15-The Elwell Island from a bird s eye view This island is known as the Elwell Island and declared as Elwell State Park. Despite being a State Park, there is no access for public to the island from the bridge nor there are any gesture for someo
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