miércoles, 23 de marzo de 2011

Typologies in Islamic Architecture (IV): Palaces

Umayyad period was characterized by palaces and bathhouses located in remote desert landscapes. Their basic plan comes from Roman military models. Although decoration of these buildings is eclectic, they are best examples of the emerging Islamic decorative style. Among decorative motifs are mosaics, wall paintings and stone or stucco sculptures.

Qasr Amra Palace, Jordan (711-715). Volume and spatial scheme.

Iraq Abbasid palaces, such as Samarra and Ukhaydir, have the same ground floor structure that their Umayyads predecessors, but they are larger, use a larger iwan, domes and a courts, as well as stucco decorations. 

Later Islamic period palaces developed a different distinctive style, more decorative and less monumental. Most notable example of this is Alhambra royal palace. Palatine area is fragmented into independent units: gardens, pavilions and courtyards. However, Alhambra most relevant characteristic is its decoration, providing an extraordinary atmosphere inside the building. 

Lecture taught at Notre Dame School of Architecture in South Bend, Indiana (USA), January 26, 2011.
Author: Pablo Álvarez Funes

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