Document Type : ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
1 Faculty of Islamic Art and Architecture, Imam Reza International University, Khorasan Razavi, Mashhad, Iran
2 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Qom, Qom, Iran
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Since the mosque is one of the most important manifestations of Islamic civilization, it is important to examine its spatial structures. The present study aims to identify the main constituent structures of the spaces in mosques and to investigate how they have changed over time, from the early rise of Islam to the contemporary era.
METHODS: It is interpretive-historical research carried out through a case study. The required data are collected using library study and observations. In the present study, Aleppo is selected as the case study due to its significance in Islamic civilization and the originality of the works in it, which have led to the inscription of Aleppo city on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
FINDINGS: The research findings are classified into 5 classes including four historical periods of Umayyad, Ayyubid, Mamluk, and Ottoman, and the contemporary era, based on the similarities of patterns. The results indicate the changes in the structures of mosques from functional (especially devotional) combinations of open, roofed, and closed spaces to merely closed space and the changes in the center of the structure from the courtyard (open space) to the domed Shabistan (closed space).
CONCLUSION: The pattern of the worship space has changed from columnar Shabistan to domed Shabistan. Shabistan and minarets are the most stable spaces in the spatial structure of mosques from the Ottoman period to the present. In the contemporary period, roofed and open spaces have transition and service functions, respectively, and open spaces are most unstable in the spatial structure of mosques.
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