The Town of the
The Town of the Great Mosque
is a project that we started in mid-2017 to experience a completely different culture. We challenged ourselves by studying Islamic culture, art, and history, and started this town off by mimicking a famous Islamic cultural icon - The Hagia Sophia (The Church of Holy Wisdom). Due to the heavy influence of the fallen Eastern Roman Empire (also known as Byzantine), the Ottoman-built many similar architectures to hold religious ceremonies and advocate the greatness of their God (Allah). As a great successor in building roman structures and created a magnificent building that still lasts until this day, the ottoman carried on until the end of their dynasty in putting together some of the most magnificent mosques of all times in human history.
The Great Mosque
The mosque we build here is based on the commonly seen mid-late Ottoman style, which includes the magnificent dome (also called the 'Qubba') and also the enlarged courtyard. The functionality of the space is more to demonstrate the greatness of God. The dome we constructed here is more than a mere decoration but served as a function to represent the heavenly realms and also create support for the whole structure.
Inside the structure, we created areas such as 'Liwan(Prayer Hall)', 'Sahn(Courtyard)', 'Mihrab(Prayer Niche)', 'Minar(Minaret)' to mimic realistic mosque design.
Due to the lack of documents on the shop and living quarters designs, we have to base our design on existing pictures that date back to the 1900s. It was a challenge at the start, but later gave us enough room to experiment and play with the Islamic element we find helpful in our hands. Although it was not a common practice in reality that people would put domes after domes on their roof, we decide that the beauty of domes will create a more vivid town. We placed areas of the marketplace, bath houses, and living quarters in designated areas to create a well designed economic centre. You can see from the pictures that there is quite a lot of personal touch to the smaller buildings.
What this meant for us
The initiation of this project allowed us to dig deep into how the Ottoman studied the Byzantine art. It is interesting to see that the design of the Eastern Roman Empire continues within the Ottoman Islamic influenced culture. The ending of this experimental project also let us came to the conclusion that there is not much difference between the Ottoman's and the Romans in terms of architecture. Islamic culture may at a glance seems to be different to other cultures, but it still fundamentally was influencing and influenced by the other cultures around its habitat.