...Islamic Style................. Styles of Architecture
|Islamic style: The architecture of the peoples of Islamic
faith, also called Mohammedan, which from the 7th century onward
expanded throughout the Mediterranean world and as far as India and
China, producing a variety of great regional works and local decorative
Moorish: Style of architecture used in Spain from the 13th to 16th century
Mudéjar: A fusion of Christian (Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance) and Islamic art created in the 12th to 16th centuries by the Muslims who remained in Christian territory after the gradual Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal).
Moorish architecture: Style of architecture used in Spain from the 13th to 16th century, characterized by horseshoe arches and ornate, geometric ornamentation.
Moorish Revival/Neo-Moorish architecture: Style
that was adopted by architects of Europe and the Americas in the wake
of the Romanticist fascination with all things oriental.
In Spain, Moorish Revival was called Neo-Mudéjar and influenced Antoni Gaudí's early work.
In the United States, Washington Irving's travel sketch, Tales of the Alhambra
(1832) first brought Moorish Andalusia into readers' imaginations and
led to an interest in Moorish Revival architecture. There a number
of Moorish Revival theaters and synagogues, as well as scattered
churches, throughout the US.
- Mocárabe: Arabic word for stalactite vault. Upper left illustration.
- Horseshoe/Moorish/Keyhole arches
- Crenelated arches
- Lancet arches
- Ogee arches
- Decorative tile work
Here in This House
(Online August 2013)
What is Moorish Architecture?
In the early eighth century, the Moors invaded Spain and marched through the region defeating any Christian people they found. For nearly seven centuries, the Moors ruled Spain and their Islamic architectural influence can still be seen, especially in the southern cities of Spain: Granada, Cordova, Valencia and Seville. In fact, many of the Spanish Christian churches of today were once Islamic mosques and buildings.
One of the most distinguished characteristics of Moorish architecture is the plain exterior of a structure with an exquisitely ornate interior. The Moorish people were nomads and lived in tents; this naturally translated into the interior of the tent being the one place that was decorated with beautiful textiles, lush gardens and simple, portable furnishings.
The interior of the buildings were decorated with fantastic and minutely colored ornamental details. Elements of nature always included in these buildings were courtyards with gardens, fountains, reflecting pools and exquisite landscapes.
The climate of the region influenced the building materials used: tile, marble, adobe brick, clay and plaster. All of these materials would stay cool in the Spanish heat. Tiled wainscoting in colorful geometric patterns could be found in the majority of the rooms and mosaic patterns were created with pebbles.
The use of geometry in decor was a nod to the Moors' talent in structural design and mathematics. The Koran forbids the copying of natural forms so instead craftsman used stars, crescents, crosses, hexagons and octagons. (They were not allowed to depict human figures, animals and flowers in their designs.) These geometric shapes and patterns were created in wood, plaster, tile and textile designs and used these colors in their designs: red, blue, green, white, sliver and gold.
The Moorish influence on design is one that acutely reflects the religious and topographical influences of Islam and Spain. The interior elements of these buildings- yeseria, artesonado, horseshoe & scalloped arches, stalactites, simple columns and multifoils - are exquisite and unique.
Islamic Style: The architecture of the peoples of Islamic faith, also called Mohammedan, which from the 7th century onward expanded throughout the Mediterranean world and as far as India and China, producing a variety of great regional works and local decorative styles.
Moorish Revival examples in Buffalo architecture: