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Title: The spatial syntax of the mosque : a study of its socio-spatial logic as invested in culturally diverse living traditions
Author: Aazam, Ziad A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 576X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is based on the premise that the mosque as historically established sociocultural artefact is a social object that requires a kind of understanding of its building type that extends beyond physical form to spatial continuum where society and culture are manifested. Based on this premise, a two-fold notion is put forth: that a definition of formal building type can include a definition of spatial configuration; and that, being a social object, the building considered as a spatial structure internally and a sub-structure externally, can be classified spatially at multiple scales of the built form. This thesis, therefore, aims to answer two questions: how a social object is defined in terms of its spatial continuum across its interior, immediate context and city at large; and how a spatial typology is extracted from the generated spatial attributes resulting from answering the above question. The research investigates spatial structures of twelve case studies of congregation mosques selected from diverse cities representing the Islamic world's cultural diversity and living traditions. The main discussions of the thesis are focused on three major interrelated themes: the mosque's urban centrality, exterior/interior spatial relations and socio-cultural intents. Defined ritual process and space categories are analysed in terms of generic functions of movement, copresence, visibility and permeability by applying spatial analytical methods at three scales of the built form: city, context and building. The research shows that the mosque's spatial configuration, at urban scale, reveals consistent patterns of high spatial centrality and integration across cases but at varying degrees of dependency; and at building scale, spatial fields of experience demonstrate underlying structural regularities oscillating between social interaction and seclusion. Across cases, permeability structures show consistent integrating position of the courtyard while the prayer hall is expressed at variable integration positions. The thesis concludes by suggesting a complementary approach to conventional architectural understanding of the mosque typology by demonstrating that spatial findings can be constructed into spatial types by empirical and conceptual coupling
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available