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Professional Practice
 
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
Why has an Islamic architect not designed a cathedral, and if there is, who and where?
Mufawek Hawas
Responses
 
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
Architects as a professional group are a relatively modern phenomenon, particularly the contemporary ego-stricken, individualistic, demiurgic creator and pathetic challenger of popular traditions. Most of cathedrals have been built by teams, and often generations of craftsmen, artists, and a variety of consultants, never by individual signature obsessed architects....Many churches have been built with the dedicated skills and the genius of Islamic and non-Islamic artists and craftsmen, in an often excellent cooperation of artistic and spiritual conviviality, of tolerance and of community, with a loving creative communion within the Divine...Among many others the Norman cathedrals in Sicily are the magnificent synthesis of the inter-religious, inter-cultural, multi-ethnic collaboration of Christians from France, Byzance, from Sicily, and of Moslems from Sicily and from the Near-East. The Cathedral of Monreale (near Palermo) is not the design of a Christian architect built by Islamic workmen, but a real and true integration of idea, concept, design, spirit and crafts (based on a subtle generative process) from a generous synergy of a complex mediterranean culture, undivided by fanatic particularisms and united in a common vision of a complex and plural humanism.

Kind regards
Lucien
Lucien Steil
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
Here another picture of a beautiful Christian church in Palermo (The "Martorana" built by the combined intelligence and cultural synergy of Islamic and non-Islamic artists and craftsmen under Norman rule. Extraordinary!
Lucien Steil
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
Another example of Norman religious architecture in Sicily: San Giovanni degli Eremiti (between 1143-1148 AD)
by Islamic and Non-Islamic artists and craftsmen! And you find many more of this truly collaborative integration in Sicily, Italy, Spain and Portugal!
Lucien Steil
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
In fact, I'm so pleased by seeing this examples.. Are there more?
Shady Youssef
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
Dear Lucien et al,

Can you reference any modern architecture of worship (post Norman) that extends the intermix of cooperative creativity for similar design and build?

Kindest Regards,
Eileen Webb
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
Lucien,

I agree that traditional structures were a collaborative effort and reflected meaning but why has this changed?

It is not important who creates the stucture;Islamic or Non-Islamic, but what the structure represents. If modern architecture reflects uselessness, profanity and ugliness, it has failed. But Lucien, it is not fair to say, all modern architects are of the typecast you describe them as. Generalizing is dangerous, whatever context. I'm sure you have an opinion on the reasons why majority(not all) of modern Architects fail to produce a meaningful structure. I look forward to hear your response. Answer Eileens question first than respond to mines. We would both be obliged(right Eileen).

Best,
Abdul Basit Mukri
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
Eileen, to answer your request for an example, the Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center in Rome was designed by Paolo Portoghesi and Sami Mousawi. There is documentation on ArchNet.
Shiraz Allibhai
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
In Spain, the islamic influence created the "mudéjar" art. The Muslim architects and builders (alarifes) worked for the christian lords in design of many cathedrals and churches: Zaragoza, Teruel, Tarazona, etc.
Jose Emilio Iniesta
Islamic architects designing cathedrals?
Hi, Muwafak. If you want to see some pictures of the spanish mudejar architecture, you must click this very good site:
www.arteguias.com/mudejar.htm.
(The text is in spanish language).
I forgot an important thing: the mudejar influenced the religious art in the spanish America (16 and 17 centuries). Bye.
Jose Emilio Iniesta
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