Muqarnas

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Decorative muqarnas vaulting in the iwan entrance to the Shah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

Muqarnas (Arabic: مقرنص‎; Persian: مقرنس‎) is a form of ornamented vaulting in Islamic architecture, the "geometric subdivision of a squinch, or cupola, or corbel, into a large number of miniature squinches, producing a sort of cellular structure", sometimes also called a "honeycomb" vault.[1] It is used for domes, and especially half-domes in entrances, iwans and apses, mostly in traditional Persian architecture. Where some elements project downwards, the style may be called mocárabe;[1][2] these are reminiscent of stalactites, and are sometimes called "stalactite vaults".

Muqarnas developed around the middle of the 10th century in northeastern Iran and almost simultaneously — but apparently independently — in North Africa. Examples can be found across Morocco and by extension, the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, the Abbasid Palace in Baghdad, Iraq, and the mausoleum of Sultan Qaitbay, Cairo, Egypt.[2] Large rectangular roofs in wood with muqarnas-style decoration adorn the 12th century Cappella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily, and other important buildings in Norman Sicily. Muqarnas is also found in Armenian architecture.

Structure[edit]

Muqarnas is typically applied to the undersides of domes, pendentives, cornices, squinches, arches and vaults.[2] Muqarnas cells are arranged in horizontal courses, as in a corbelled vault, with the horizontal joint surface having a different shape at each level.[3][4] The edges of these surfaces can all be traced on a single plan view; architects can thus plan out muqarnas geometrically, as the image illustrates.[5][6] See these diagrams for clarity.

Muqarnas does not have a significant structural role. Muqarnas need not be carved into the structural blocks of a corbelled vault; it can be hung from a structural roof as a purely decorative surface.[7][8] Muqarnas may be made of brick, stone, stucco, or wood, and clad with tiles or plaster.[2] The individual cells may be called alveoles.[1]

Muqarnas is generally a downward-facing shape; that is, a vertical line can be traced from the floor to any point on a muqarnas surface. However, some muqarnas elements have been designed with upwards-facing cells.[8]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c VirtualAni website. "Armenian architecture glossary". Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d Curl, James Stevens (2006). A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Paperback) (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860678-8. 
  3. ^ "MUQARNAS ON-LINE COURSE". muqarnas.muqarnas.org. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-08. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  5. ^ "muqarnas". www.tamabi.ac.jp. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 
  6. ^ "Metta-physics.com". www.metta-physics.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 
  7. ^ sharmiarchitect (10 September 2013). "Muqarnas - Mathematics in Islamic Architecture". slideshare.net. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Dan Owen (16 January 2014). "Muqarnas مقرنس Reconceived - A Brief Survey". slideshare.net. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 

External links[edit]