1.1 Background study
A mosque is the most important building in Islam as it is an institution of primary importance in the Muslim life and the main role of a mosque is a place of daily worship of Muslim. In the early days of Islam, the statement about the mosque is the most important building was very true in every aspect of the Islamic culture as seen in history of mosque construction and developments. Only a few days upon the Prophet Muhmmad arrival in Medina, he built the Quba’ mosque and it is constructed under a very simple and moderate circumstances, using a cluster of dates’ trunks, enclosed with bricks and roofed with palm fronds. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that one of the signs of the Day of Judgement’s imminence would be when people start vying in boasting with one another concerning mosques, including planning, construction, decoration and everything else that pertains to it (Sunan Abu Dawood), and since then, most of the mosque is moderately constructed. However, this does not mean that it is prohibited to the mosque decoration altogether. The whole thing must be studied carefully taking into consideration a number of religious and socio-economic factors. No tradition of the Prophet (pbuh) or a verse in the Qur’an that clearly and utterly prohibits mosque decoration (Spahic Omer, 2009). The roles of mosque in the era of The Prophet Muhammad SAW perceived on the larger scheme, thus the mosque became the top priority to Muslim in their daily live. The mosque is a symbol of Islamic enlightenment and sovereignty which connect the human with the creator and the mosque was monumental, symbolising the world and hereafter. After the construction of Quba’ mosque, the Prophet Muhammad built ‘Nabawi Mosque’ and which it plays a big role as a centre of religion, administration, Islamic operation, a place to seek the right and justice, a military headquarters, knowledge gathering, a centre for human relations and man’s relation with Allah SWT.
In the present day, the mosque is an architectural symbol catering for the religious rites of the Muslim society and people become more interest in the physical appearance of the mosque and neglect the true function of the mosque. People are competing to build a mosque with a beautiful carving, bigger dome, taller minaret and also build an enormous size of mosque. The construction of the mosque must be big in size in the addition to create the grandeur feeling to whoever visit the mosque and the tall minaret is a symbol of a mosque that can be seen from afar. In the time of Islamic caliphate, the grand mosque was built as a symbol of Islam as a big power, used to units the Muslim’s armies and as the symbol of majestic for the caliphs (Tajuddin,2010). Mosques were built across the Muslim country in monumental scale but usually isolated and far from the housing area. Even though the mosque portrays different function depending on the location as in a non-Muslim country, the mosque indicates the presences of Muslims society and as for Muslim country, the mosque symbolising the identity of the Muslim nation and commonly, the mosques are treated as object-centred building which emphasize the aesthetic beauty instead of the functionalities. The Muslim society tend to boasting to one another in regards of the mosque appearance including planning, construction, decoration and everything that can be related to the mosque. The people’s faith drastically declined and total submission to the Almighty has no longer remains as the phenomenon of excessive and meaningless decoration take places.
The word ‘mosque’ is derived from the French word ‘mosque’e ‘which in turn is derived from the Spanish word ‘mezquita’. The Spanish term is a translation of the Arabic word ‘masdjid’ which originated from the Aramaic ‘masgendha’ (R.A. Jairazbhoy, 1972). Gazalba explains that the root of Arabic word ‘masdjid’ is ‘sajd’ which means ‘to prostrate’ (Sidi Gazalba, 1975). The act of prostrate is one of the ritual in the Muslim prayer and the meaning of the word ‘sajada’ means to completely submit, loyal, devote and adhere to the will of Allah SWT. The word ‘mosque’, understood as the building for the Muslim rituals is used as in the present architectural terminology. After more than fourteen hundred years development of a mosque, it can be concluded that mosque is categorized into five general types: the sacred mosque, the community mosque, the madrasa mosque, the musalla and the memorial mosque (Tajuddin, 1998).
The sacred mosque is the Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, the Mosque of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Medina and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. These mosques clearly mentioned as the sacred place in the Qur’an and stated of the Prophet Muhammad. There are a few benefits if prayers perform at the mosque mentioned above including the prayers in these mosques carry more reward. The community mosque is the type known as masjid and these are the common type of mosque found across the world. This mosque also equips with other facilities and play variety of purposes such as a place for education, administrative centre and other functions. The musolla or known as surau is a type of mosque only for prayers and usually small size. Musolla is a room located at office, shopping complex or gas station and function as a convenient place for the Muslim to perform prayer in the middle of their daily business. The madrasa mosque purposely built for educational place. In the past, the madrasa mosque was established by eminent scholar to teach the Qur’an, the Hadith, Islamic law and other Islamic teaching such as fiqh and sirah. The function of the madrasa mosque and the community mosque is the same except for the madrasa mosque, the accommodation and the facilities is maintained by the teachers and students of the madrasa. The memorial mosque is the type which is established by Muslims after the demise of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to honour a historical incident such as the Badr and Uhud battle, his birthplace and the site where he had met the ‘unseen beings’ or to honour the death of the caliph, saint or scholar. These mosques exist only in particular places connected to an incident or a person (Tajuddin, 1998).
The mosque plays a number of purposes and functions that portrays the role of a mosque as a centre building that help for the development of the surrounding community. The main role of a mosque is a centre of worship for Muslim. The fixed daily and weekly activities of the mosque is the Friday prayer for men and the fixed five daily prayer. Besides, during Ramadhan, the tarawih also become the daily activities of the mosque as it is being perform every night after isya’ prayer and it happens only for a month every year. There are also eid al-Fitr and eid al-adha which happen annually besides the other additional prayer such as eclipse prayer and funeral prayer. The next function of a mosque is as a centre of knowledge, Islamic teaching, culture and Islamic civilisation. The mosque committee usually will arrange a few class or in Malay is call ‘ceramah’ which they ask a teacher to teach in the short time and usually been held after ‘subh’ prayer and the time between ‘maghrib’ prayer and ‘isya’ prayer. Besides, there are also Quran class for kids where they learn how to read the Quran face to face with the teacher(tadarus) and at some mosque, there are additional school time in the evening after the primary school in the morning formal class that teach the kids about Islam including tajwid, fiqh, hadith, Islamic history (sirah), Arabic language with grammar (nahu saraf). There is also classroom provided at most of the big mosque and the room can be rent for any occasion and some of the big mosque provides library with computer room. Islamic celebration of important events such as isra mi’raj, the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (mawlid nabi) and time breaking of the fast during Ramadhan. These events are not ordered by the Prophet Muhammad, but it is the events in honour to celebrate the Prophet and the sahabah never done these events and also reminding the Muslim about the Prophet Muhammad which supposed to be the role model of the Muslim. The events equipped with salawat to the Prophet and also tazkirah about the life of the Prophet and this indirectly teach people how great the Prophet and his legacy in shaping the Islamic civilisation. The mosque also plays the role as the social service centre for the community and use to foster unity and develop brotherhood between Muslim community. The mosque must be used as the single most important base for Muslims in establishing an Islamic government through the unity of Islamic brotherhood from their interaction in the mosque (A. Zain,1984). The mosque is not meant purely for the performance of religious ritual and the teaching of religious education only but can be used also for many different activities. The mosque should be connected with all aspects of life which includes politics, social interaction, concept of knowledge, art, economy, philosophy and ritual worship.
In Malaysia, there are a few styles of the mosque and the design of the mosque differs with every phase. This is the reflective of many factors that lead to the varying architectural styles of the mosques with particular design characteristics including ethnic, culture, colonialism, technology utilisation and the political environment. These factors play a big role in designing the mosques and also form the unique identity and image variation which enhance the Muslim community and cultures in Malaysia. The first phase is where Islam came to Tanah Melayu particularly during in the early 14th century and growing to become more prominent in the early 15th century. In this phase, the mosque built with the traditional architecture style similar to that the construction of the Malay houses and it is called vernacular mosque. The vernacular mosque was built before the colonialism and it respond to the tropical weather of Malaysia and influenced with the availability of building materials, craftsmanship, technology and ethnic background. Traditional mosque in Malaysia influence by the design of the mosque in Indonesia especially the shape of the levelled roof. Based on the shape of the roof, the vernacular mosque can be categorised into three types, the first type is three tier pyramidal roof mosque as can be seen on Kampung Laut Mosque (figure 1.0) and Kampung Tuan Mosque (figure 1.1). The second type is two tier pyramidal roof shape for example Papan Mosque (figure 1.2) and Lenggeng Mosque (figure 1.3). The next type of mosque is mosque with an elongated roof shape as can be seen in Langgar Mosque (figure 1.4).
Figure 1.0: Kampung Laut Mosque
Figure 1.1: Kampung Tuan Mosque
Figure 1.2: Papan Mosque
Figure 1.3: Lenggeng Mosque
Figure 1.4: Langgar Mosque
The vernacular mosques do not equip with minaret as in Indonesia mosque style and it is only an open single space with originally possess no veranda and built in response to the warm and humid climate of Malaysia. The mosque was built with pitched roof that enable the flowing of rain water, the mosque built on stilts and raise above ground level to avoid flood and many opening including doors and louvered windows. High level of craftmanship also can be seen on the carving of the windows, fanlights, carving panel wall, fascia board and well-designed mimbar with intricate flower motifs. The material uses to build the mosque also using the material easily available such as timber, bamboo, bricks, stone, clay tiles and attap.
The next type of mosque which also old-style mosque is Sino-eclectic style mosque which influenced from Chinese architecture style started in 17th century and it is divided into type, three-tiered pyramidal roof and two-tiered pyramidal roof. These mosques usually can be found in Malacca, Penang and Negeri Sembilan and built by the Chinese Muslim traders. These mosques are built on the ground using masonry with timber windows and doors, floor is made of concrete with tiles along and the mosque area was surrounded with masonry fence and gate that can be found in Chinese temple. The plan of the mosque including the closed area pf prayer area and surrounded by the serambi or veranda all around it with masonry ablution pool and the roof was built using clay tiles which is supported using four central columns. The example of Sino-eclectic mosque are Kampung Hulu Mosque (figure 1.5), Tengkera Mosque (figure 1.6), Kampung Keling Mosque,Malacca (figure 1.7) and Undang Kamat Mosque (figure 1.8).
Figure 1.5: Kampung Hulu Mosque
Figure 1.6: Tengkera Mosque
Figure 1.7: Kampung Kling Mosque
Figure 1.8: Undang Kamat Mosque
European classical style mosque is one of the style of the mosque in Malaysia in respond to colonialism in Malaysia and this style referring to the final renaissance architecture derived from the heritage of roman architecture and arrived in Malaysia around 19th century. The mosque commonly found in Johor and there is a hypothesis why this kind of mosque only found in Johor which is Johor sultanate shows interest for western culture (Tajuddin,2010). The main character of the mosque is the division of the three main elements of the building; base, middle and top with a double pillar that supports arches and walls that are curved and equipped with pilasters. The strong symmetrical composition of the massing and spacing is also an identifying feature. The main column is made of masonry along with the arches between columns and in every opening. Take example of Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque in Johor Bharu (figure 1.9), there are four minarets with a small dome on top of it and the interior design was decorated with continues cornice. Pasir Pelangi Mosque (figure 1.10) also an of the example of European classical style mosque that has traditional vernacular pyramidal roof shape but without any dividing tier and the minaret has heavy proportion that topped with small pyramid and not small dome.
Figure 1. 9: Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque
Figure 1.10: Pasir Pelangi Mosque
Besides, there is also North Indian style of mosque which is used to describe the imitative Indian Moghul that expand during colonialism in Malaysia and it begin on the early 19th century. The North Indian style easily recognised from the use of small and large onion domes, small dome canopies, minarets with various height, horse shoe arches with decorated columns. The plan of the mosque is similar to other mosque which have central domes and arched veranda, the roofs are covered with masonry domes and it has yard around the mosque with green landscaping. There are two possibilities why this style exists in Malaysia, first is the colonialist choose Islamic architecture style to force the people to accept their version of Islamic ritual and also, they affected by the façade (picturesque). The second possibility is the influences brought by Indian Muslim merchants when the evolution of commercial own by them (Tajuddin,2010). Ubudiah Mosque (figure 1.11), Kapitan Keling Mosque (figure 1.12) and Syed Alwi Mosque (figure 1.13) are the example of North Indian style mosque.
Figure 1.11: Ubudiah Mosque
Figure 1.12: Kapitan Keling Mosque
Figure 1.13: Syed Alwi Mosque
Modern vernacular style mosque refers to the building constructed mainly using reinforced concrete structural frame with plastered brick infill. This style is considered ‘vernacular’ because the practice and availability of these new materials and construction technique is the norm in this country presently. Usually, these types of mosques easily found at the modern residential area and surrounded by homes and timber was used to construct the roof structure and the wall is construct using reinforced concrete frame with brick infill. These mosques were built purely from presently economic way of construction and the mosque was fenced up to separate the daily lives and spiritual lives. The modern vernacular mosque style commonly used a gable or pyramidal roof with a small dome or for the expensive mosque, bigger dome is used over the main prayer hall. The main hall constructed the plan of the mosque with woman prayer area separated with curtains or movable partitions, the veranda would be enclosed by a series of arch and decorated with common elements of a mosque such as arches and domes with various size. The usual plan of the mosque is it fenced around with allocated space for parking and the remaining space is filled with attractive landscape while the backyard of the mosque used for occasion such as animal slaughter place during Eid-Adha. The mosque possesses the style of mosque during the Prophet Muhammad mosque style where it is used as community centre and madrasah and equipped with facilities such as library, store, hostel and administration office (Tajuddin,2010). Rusila Mosque (figure 1.14) and Nik Aziz Mosque (figure 1.15) are the example of modern vernacular style mosque.
Figure 1.14: Rusila Mosque
Figure 1.15: Nik Aziz Mosque
The other style of mosque is modernistic expressionism which stating the idea that architecture rejects historical revivalism and ornamentation in various shape but respect the abstract shape and structural expression in design. There are two types of modernistic expressionism in Malaysia; Modernistic expressionism and modernistic structuralism. Modernistic expressionism derived from classification of William J Curtis on the form of expressionism in architecture that carries metaphoric message through structure expression. ‘Modernistic’ word is added only because only a few parts of the mosque building elements use the language while the other part uses the general architecture style. There are two mosques categorised in this modernistic expressionism; National Mosque (figure 1.16) and Negeri Sembilan State Mosque (figure 1.17). National Mosque uses extensive veranda with open space to allow daylighting and passive cooling while Negeri Sembilan State Mosque uses a series of reinforced concrete coronoid to get the shape of Minangkabau style roof (buffalo horn shape roof). The modernistic structuralism came from traditional style Mies van der Rohe that see building as a mechine to express the structure. The main structre used reinforced concrete frames and shell, folded plate and conoidal shell give the vibe of progressive images attached to dynamism of Islam. Kota Samarahan Mosque (figure 1.18) shows the usage of steel truss to stretch the roofing and Al-Syahidin Mosque (figure 1.19) uses the frame structure with four base attaches to the ground and the roof stretching fully without massive wall.
Figure 1.16: National Mosque
Figure 1.17: Negeri Sembilan State Mosque
Figure 1.18: Kota Samarahan Mosque
Figure 1.19: Al-Syahidin Mosque
The last type of mosque in Malaysia is Post-Modern Revivalism style and can be categorised into Foreign Revivalism and Vernacular Revivalism. The foreign revivalism mosques were built in massive scale and become the ‘success of Islam’ or an expression by the of state government and federal government to express the concern about the importance of Islamic symbol in Malaysia (Tajuddin,2010). The usage of Iranian and Turkish style of dome, Persian iwan gateways, lavish courtyard surrounded by the sahn and Arabian hypostyle planning with various decoration of Islamic classical style. The example of foreign revivalism in mosque architecture is Putra Mosque (figure 1.20), Shah Alam Mosque (figure 1.21) and Wilayah Mosque (figure 1.22). The vernacular revivalism slightly less monumental compared to the previous typology with the usage of three-tiered roof construct using timber or concrete. Tanjung Api Mosque (figure 1.23) is the example of this typology that redefine the use of timber and rigid wall with railing surround the veranda. Besides, Malacca State Mosque (figure 1.24) also a mosque built with vernacular revivalism element that combined the use of arches and front door with Malay vernacular style.
Figure 1.20: Putra Mosque
Figure 1.21: Shah Alam Mosque
Figure 1.22: Wilayah Mosque
Figure 1.23: Tanjung Api Mosque
Figure 1.24: Malacca State Mosque
1.2 Problem statement
The design of the mosque influenced from many sources and nowadays, modern style with eco-green architecture is trending and become a hot topic. The study of aesthetic elements and human perception shows that human draws attention to the beautiful and unique elements differ from the usual style design surround them. The human perception of an object ‘beauty’ perceive the human desire and ability to create displays that are aesthetically pleasing based on sensory, formal and symbolic aesthetic (Shrine, 2010).
1) Sensory aesthetic: generated by pleasurable sensations obtained from
textures, smell, tastes, sounds and sights.
2) Formal aesthetic: arise from the order of sensory material, perception of
the system and relationship that exists in the patterns, proportions and
3) Symbolic aesthetic: based on expression or associated values such as unity
and rhythm of image, sign and symbol.
This research is to evaluate the façade aesthetic value in Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque through the relationship between the elements of aesthetic value of a building with human perception that leads to aesthetic judgements. To achieve the research aim, the following objectives are formulated:
1) To identify the facade aesthetic value of Raja Haji Fisabilillah
2) To determine the architectural elements of the mosque façade that
contribute to the aesthetic value of the mosque.
3) To propose a model of the ideal architectural style of a mosque to
help the construction of the mosque in the future.
Aesthetic is the study of human sensation, conceptions and judgements which derives from our appreciation of the arts. The ‘aesthetic’ meaning and judgments differ from each other as it depends on the disciplines. Usually, the parameter of aesthetic element is; general appearances, naturalness, diversity, cleanliness, coherence, complexity, attractiveness, legibility, historicity, sense of place, general satisfaction and general aesthetic (Erdogan, 2016).
1.4 Scope of study
This research has focused on studying the aspects of architectural elements that contributes to the aesthetic value of the mosque and this paper focused on the aesthetic appreciation based on the context of Muslim community in Malaysia. This research not only focus on Malay community style but for the overall user of the mosque.
This chapter discuss about the literature review of the other research according to the aesthetic value in architecture. It includes the meaning of aesthetic, aesthetic in design, type of environment in mosque and the design of mosque and the perception of aesthetic in design.
2.2 Literature view
Aesthetic can be defined as the philosophy of studying beauty and taste. ‘Aesthetics’ comes from the Greek word aesthesis that refer to things perceptible to the sense or anything could have an aesthetic effect simply when being sensed or perceived. It is also referring to the sensory perception and understanding or sensuous knowledge. Prior to Plato’s time, the beauties and pleasures of human existence were fundamentally those of the corporeal word – pleasures experienced without any meaningful understanding of their foundation in human aesthetic sensitivity. Plato’s philosophical theorizing was the first thoroughly documented inquiry into beauty and pleasure, considered as cognitive ideal more than a worldly phenomenon. Plato’s shift to ideas of the mind essentially recognized beauty as one of the realities of human conscientiousness and that understanding beauty required philosophical analysis (Gardner,2008). In the eighteenth century, the usage of the word ‘aesthetic’ was first use in “Aesthetica” book written by Baumgarten. Baumgarten change the meaning of aesthetic into the gratification of the senses or sensuous delight, confirmed on the sensory, rather than intellectual, nature of such judgements (Mirbach,2007; Nia et al., 2017). This aesthetic concept has been used since then in many aspects of experience of art such as aesthetic judgement, aesthetic attitude, aesthetic understanding, aesthetic emotion and aesthetic value. The phrase is more often used in relation to the art especially visual art.
Figure 2.0: Schematic model of aesthetic experience (adapted from Leder, Belke, Oeberst and Augustin, 2004)
In the ‘model of aesthetic experience’ by Leder, Belke, Oeberst and Augustin (2004, Figure 2.0) illustrated the observation that the aesthetic experience is held to cover all process involved in our interaction with a work of art. In this observation, an observer of an artwork starts with perceptual analysis of the work, compares this to the previous encounters, classifies the artwork with into category and interprets and evaluates the artwork which resulting in an aesthetic judgement and aesthetic
experience pleasure (aesthetic emotion). It starts with the sensuous delight or displeasure is being analysis, while at the later stages cognitive and emotional process enter the experience (Hekkert,2006). The ongoing research now indicates that the de facto based on the evolutionary psychological adaptations to environmental influences is the human aesthetic sensitivity and the judgements in responding to aesthetic sensitivities. A universal, innate sensitivity (faculty) imbedded in human psychology, a bimodal emotional judgement of pleasure or displeasure, focused on the immediate sensual response to the form of objects or ideas without purposeful reference to concepts associated with their existence is the – purely a sensual response basically the meaning of ‘aesthetic’ (Gardner,2008).
In the article wrote by Hourakhsh (2016), the relationship between the elements of urban spatial configuration and human perception is needed to understand how the configuration between the elements of urban spatial configuration leads to aesthetic judgement. By focusing on the human cognition process in psychology (sensation, perception, conception), the study focuses on the process of human aesthetic cognition in urban environment. The hypothesis formulated in the study claims that the aesthetic appreciation of the environment based on the elements of urban spatial configurations has different components, meanings and characteristics in the differing contexts of a city. It is stated that aesthetic is a discipline that studies the beauty and attributes of an object and their perception through our taste. Blackburn (1994) in his research confesses that aesthetic is the study of human sensation, conception and judgements, which derives from our appreciation of the arts. The terms ‘beauty’ and ‘aesthetic’ is different as the ‘Beauty’ is the peculiar attribute of an object or place that offers an experience of pleasure, satisfaction and meaning while aesthetic refers to the philosophical study of beauty and its appreciation. In a dialogue between Socrates and Diotima (Fenner,2003), Plato said that the knowledge of beauty is a process that begins through the appreciation of objects in natural world. Aristotle (384-322 B.C) stated that beautiful objects had to possesses certain dimensions and he assumed that aesthetic is the interaction between balance, order and imitation. The Renaissance stated that symmetry, proportions, restrains, regularity and balance as vital components of beauty (Lothian,1999).
There is a relation between aesthetic value and functionality of the smart skin of building as stated in the “Beauty” Based on The Functionality of Smart Skin in Building (Salar,2017). The research is to understand the influence of aesthetic value will affect the efficiency of the building performance. In the book ‘The Critique of Judgement 1790’ written by Immanuel Kant, he stated that there are two types of beauty; free beauty and dependent beauty. Free beauty is an adaptation of ‘form to purpose’ to measure the excellence or beauty of architecture based on the functionalist approach in basic principle design (Sauchelli,2012). The feeling of pleasure and enjoyment determined by the parameters of the functionality, sustainability and perfection of a building. Meanwhile, dependent beauty is a certain function determine by a specific kind or type of a beauty. The beauty must be first approach to determine the needed function achievement. There is many function of smart skin façade; protection and safety from external environment, providing comfort through building skin elements, structural function and enhance inner air quality. For the comfort issues, inner thermal comfort, inner visual comfort, inner air quality, acoustic comfort and protection to the occupants.
There are a few types of environment for a mosque, first is the optimisation of function form relationship (Omer,2009). A building is created for the function to give complete service to the people who are the users. A mosque is a multifunctional community centre catering to the spiritual, social, educational and political needs. Functions are more important than the form of a building so the function and purposes of a building with the sheer form of the building should not be isolated into different things. If the forms of the mosque are justifiable on the strength of the functions and purposes of the building, then there is nothing wrong with it. Next, respect for the environment must be displayed. The relationship between people and the environments and between the realms of natural and built environments must be conceived, created and used in architecture (Omer,2009). Architecture must be conscious enterprise, realizing and then inviting and accommodating nature’s advantages and also, realising and then repelling its advantages. In the other words, architecture must be sustainable (Omer,2009).
The next type of environment at mosque is the cleanliness. It is stated in a branch of faith (iman) in Islam (Muslim,223), the cleanliness of the body, dwelling, places, courtyards, streets, markets, rivers and the whole surroundings. The prophet Muhammad said in a hadith, ‘Allah is clean and loves cleanliness’ (Al-Tirmidhi,2723). Besides, the prophet Muhammad was very concerned about the cleanliness of the whole of the city of Madinah and also the cleanliness of the mosque in particular. The Islamic architecture with all its aspects must embody the notion of comprehensive excellence. The spirit of excellence and striving for it must be felt at every stage and in every aspects of in the process of creating building. Starting from choosing the site, conceptualizing and making design, the selection of building materials and quality of work to the final execution of buildings and the activation of their functions as environmentally friendly, energy efficient an as that which their users exactly need. Excellence is to be a culture, not to be reduced to a mere slogan (Omer,2009). The design of the mosque symbolises the concept of comprehensive excellence that had to be advocated during the construction of the mosque.
Furthermore, promoting the social interactions and at the same time promoting Islamic architecture. In this way, the Islamic values can be shown that mosque belong to everybody which equally entitled without any favour. The mosque function in strengthening the relationship between the Muslim society. Next is ‘la darar wa la dirar’ (Ibn Majah,2331) which means there is no inflicting or returning of harm. The surrounding of the mosque must be safe as the people’s physical, psychological and even spiritual wellbeing depends on how conducive and constructive environments. Both of the healthy body and mind reside in a healthy and safely built environment. The lessons in the mosque can be conducted in a peaceful coexistence with the environment, ensuring the highest standards of hygiene not on only in the main hall of the mosque but generally in all of the part of the mosque. Furthermore, the mosque should be the place for people to calm and focuses on them prays so it is strictly prohibited to use any kind of bloodshed or any type of harm. It is highly advised for the people visiting the mosque to keep quiet even when praying as not to disturb others, no running especially in front of the people who perform salah, no laughing and for the men and women, they were asked to be in different side. Hence, the building is created to serve as a place of maximum safety and protection from both of the nature and hazards generated by man (Omer,2009). Lastly, the mosque indicates the uniqueness of Islamic architecture and symbolised the civilisations of Islam. Through the design of the mosque, the authenticity and the struggle faced by the Prophet Muhammad in develop the world Islam. The character of the mosque according to the perception, philosophy, purpose and functions are permanent and not subject to change as it is based on the permanent essential human nature and it needs as well as on the permanent nature of the whole of existence and its needs. However, according to the people’s different regions, areas and needs, the systems inventions, regulations, views and attitudes, the design of the mosque differs from each other. As a result, the functions of the mosque remain the same, whereas the forms changes, varies and evolves in response to the varieties of cultures, geographies and climates and to the changes and development in people’s socio-economic conditions. The form of the mosque influenced to the mosque functioning properly (Omer,2009).
The architectural design guideline of the mosque or Islamic centre are related to the size, types of spaces, relationship between the spaces, the relevance of mosque furniture, the design of some common architectural elements of the mosque and its architectural language and expression. Firstly, for the size of the mosque, there is no specific guideline agreed on the ideal size of the mosque. The factors controlling the size determination is based on the occupancy and also related to the aesthetic intention of symbolising an object that relative to the economics constraints and the visual impact of the building to the surrounding building. As the mosque is stated as the house of God and the place of prayer, creating the grand scale of a mosque justified in the power of God. The country or neighbourhood area with big community of Muslim tend to have bigger mosque compared to the place with smaller Muslim community.
Besides, the sites of the mosque are very important aspects as we can see that a mosque usually located isolated from the urban fabric as it is for symbolic purposes. A mosque should be sited at the place where most people can be found. The Islamic centre should be located where there are institutional complexes in which a great number of people lives and work at the same place or within the same area. Sites such as schools, villages, the commercial activities and the main road should be the strategic place for a mosque as it ensures an easy access to people visiting it (Tajuddin,1998). Next is the basics types of spaces in a mosque can be classified into four, prohibited, multi-purposes, specific and outside spaces.
The prohibited space can be defined as the area which have been marked as the actual mosque area or the prayer area this place is signified as the place where the i’ktikaf ritual take place. This place is the restricted place for menstruating women and Muslims in a state of major defilement. Even though this is such a controversial issue even among the Sunni religious scholar, but it is still a prohibited area for those who uphold the view strongly. Despite the prohibition, the area can be used for any other occasions for community activities with exception for the Muslims in major state of defilement. The multifunctional space is a space that integrated with the prohibited space in the mosque complex. This is the mosque important spaces in mosque areas, it is place where the activities centred and take places. The multifunction places usually well designed so that it can fit many activities and events also people can perform congregational prayer there. The space should not be equipped with any fix furniture but it should be close to the storage facilities where the equipment needed for the activities can be stored in there.
The single function space is a space with a specific function that requires specific equipment and furniture. One of the important space is a specific enclosed place for women. Men and women need to be separated and cannot mix with each other in other to protect the dignity and the honour of the women. The place for women need to be positioned so that the men do not have the visual access to the them. Despite the separation of the area, women should be able to see either the imam so they can synchronise the prayer with the rest of the ma ‘mum. The ablution area for the women should be fully enclosed for the women to remove their veil to perform the ablutions (wudhu’). The ablution space should be totally separated from any passage circulated by men. The private part for women should enable them to remove their veil. The ablution places also usually grouped with the toilet facilities and the ablution consist of tap and pool facility. A big mosque usually equipped with small library with conveniences such as computers, projectors, audio-video facilities, books and newspaper and the room should be decorated with the needs of the room. The private meeting room that held the meeting between the committee of the mosque and also a private room for the imam. There are also spaces for social interactions for youngster, adults and children. A lounge with modern recreational materials such as the television, video, cd-player and some indoor game furniture can be set to attract the youngster come to the mosque. It is also recommended that a mosque provided a small hall or room that can be rent by people for their activities. The outside space presents the mosque compound like a sculpture garden and parking facilities. This space is used as an attraction and also a place for activities. A paved court can be used for sports activities and playground for the kids.
The relationship between the spaces is very important to determine the activities at the places. The requirement for the prohibited spaces is it should be oriented towards the qibla while the toilet should be face away from the qibla. To differentiate the prohibited mosque and the multi-functional spaces around it can be done with enclosures or maybe using the colour treatment of the wall and floor. The multi-functional spaces act as an overflow space in Jumaat prayer. The women spaces should be placed and designed such that they have an unobstructed view of the imam leading the prayer without being visible to the male. A mosque needs entrances at all side of the mosque for easy access into the mosque. The rest of the spaces can be designed in whatever the designers feels best suited for the mosque and in response to the site context of the place.
The next architectural guidelines for the mosque is the quality of the light in the mosque. The most common comments made is the designers try to stimulate the lighting effects suggested by the Qur’anic verses of the light. This results to the romantic and dimly interiors as it is an appropriate atmosphere to meditate. Despite the comments, it is suggested that the mosque should be design with a good lighting strategy without encouraging sleepiness but suitable for any other activities.
The main characters of a sustainable design mosque are; façade, ornamentation, setting and scale. The façade treatment ideas can be shown through the opening elements such as windows and doors. The maximum natural lighting and ventilation can be achieved from the arrangement of the opening in vertical or horizontal manners and in the same time minimizing the energy usage and decreases the maintenance cost. Besides, the usage of local materials portrays the natural and uniqueness of the local identity. The design of the ornamentation, detailing and structural elements portrays not only the beauty and creativity but also functions as opening for the ventilation and lighting. Furthermore, the location of the mosque should be deeply considered and placed in the heart of the communal facilities. The considerations should conclude the walking distance and the accessible road to and from the mosque. The entrance of the mosque should be welcoming to the users and also the multiple entrance should be placed around the mosque. The scale of the building also should be taken in consideration before build the mosque. It is no use to build a big mosque as symbolic of Islam but the number of the users are far less compared to the size of the mosque.
Getting into the perception on aesthetic design, according to Sherine Mohy El Dine Wahba (2010) in the research about the “Friendly and Beautiful: Environmental Aesthetic in Twenty First Century Architecture”, the study is about to identify the factors that contribute to the perception of an object or a process as ‘beautiful’ or as a ‘pleasurable’ experience and to better appreciate the human desire and ability to create and enjoy creating displays that are aesthetically pleasing. The George Santayana’s distinctions among the sensory, formal and symbolic aesthetic that are still useful. The aesthetic values of sensory aesthetic are those generated by the pleasurable sensations obtained from the texture, smells, tastes, sounds and sights of the world. Meanwhile, the formal aesthetics is concerned with the appreciation of shapes and structures of the environment with response to certain portions or shapes that are not biologically based but are based rather on self-conscious and intellectual reasoning. The formal aesthetic values arise from the order of sensory materials, perception of the system and relationship that exist in the patterns, proportions and ordering principles. The symbolic aesthetics is concerned with associational meanings of the patterns of the environment that five people pleasure through significance, meaning and feelings. The expressions or values of symbolic aesthetics is unity and rhythm.
The aesthetic variables for the formal aesthetic are the shapes, proportions, rhythm, scale, degree of complexity, colour harmony, illumination and shadowing effects of the built and natural worlds (Nasar,1994). The elements of design include; dots, lines, planes and volumes. The principle of composition is simple or complex and the order and disorder for the formal aesthetic variables are perceptual order and proportional schemata. The symbolic aesthetic is based on the image, sign and symbol. The variables in the built environment that carry meanings are building configuration, spatial configuration, materials, nature of illumination and colour. The beauty of a building depends to the amount of personal interpretation. Furthermore, the aesthetics of a given architectonic language selected and/or developed by the architect, design professional and/or client is influenced by many factors, including context, program and construction materials and methods, as well as cultural predispositions.
In the ‘Aesthetic in Design’ from Karl T. Ulrich (2007), stated that aesthetic response is rapid, usually within seconds of exposure to the artefact. The aesthetic response is involuntary, requiring little if any expenditure of cognitive effort. It is an aggregate assessment biased either positively such as beauty or attraction or negatively such as ugliness or repulsion and it is not multi-dimensional evaluation. Aesthetic response most frequently stimulated by visual information and can be stimulated via senses other than vision but the vision systems provides data more immediately and at higher rates than do the others senses. The reason why aesthetic matter in design is because it is by nature that human sense prefers a beautiful artefact rather than ugly one because it providing satisfying experience for the users. Second, the first thing come to response or the first impression when seeing an artefact is the aesthetic response to it. Third, beauty may serve as a signal for unobservable attributes of equality. Aesthetic judgements are derived from specific human experience and cultural contexts and being one of it is the attraction to the facial symmetry. Besides, the aesthetics preferences of individuals depend on the cultural perspective and social environmental influences. In theory of aesthetic in design is the cognitive mechanism operate derived from the basic sensory inputs and symbols. Some important and significant aesthetic responses are vestigial adaptations for detecting physical features that were useful in an evolutionary sense. Other important and significant aesthetic responses are adaptations that operate on symbols derived from learning, experience and cultural context.
In the ‘Aesthetic Design Thinking Model for Urban Environments: A Survey Based on A Review of The Literature’ by Hourakhsh Ahmad Nia (2016), the aesthetic design of urban spaces is a design based on the human taste. Aesthetic design offers an opportunity to increase the hedonic values of the built environment. The collective variables of urban spatial configuration deals with the aesthetic design to increase the arousal potential. There are a few approaches in aesthetic design; objective approach, expert approach and the rationalistic view of aesthetic. The objective approach is aesthetic design derived from the physical elements and their configuration. The culture determined the concepts of beauty that may be idiosyncratic and essentially personal. The effects of culture have a strong effect on how human perceive and respond to the environment. The expert approach transforms the biophysical features of the environment into formal design parameters. The perception-based approaches treat the biophysical features of the environment as stimuli that arouse aesthetically applicable psychological responses through the relatively distinct perceptual process. This approach favours the objectively side of the philosophy of aesthetic. In the rationalistic view of aesthetic, senses pave way to the science of beauty. In this perspective, it is not enough to only appreciate an artefact but it needs to explain and evaluate the origins.
Aesthetic response to the environment are derived from the cognition of aesthetic properties in urban configurations. The features of an environment that are being examined such as building style, colour, streetscape, house style, city image and urban environment (Nasar,1994; Heft and Nasar,2000; Olasoaga,2003). The collective variables in the environment possess the potential of arousal and it is based on the features of an environment such as complexity, diversity, novelty, surprising, puzzling ambiguity and compatibility.
Figure 2.1: Aesthetic response to the environment (Porteous, 1996)
The tangible arousal in a person depends on how attentive that person is at the moment of observing the environment and it is believe that tangible arousal may affect the attainment of hedonic value. Hedonic value is the pleasure obtained from observing the environment or a work of art. In this respect, the communication between contemplative feelings, sensuous desire and an immediate state of involvement deriving the aesthetic response to the environment.
As the indicators of urban appreciation vary in each context, the proposed model should encompass all of the indicators. As the environment has the ability to take an influential aesthetic quality, the essential elements of urban design consist of nodes, paths, landmarks, districts and edges (Lynch,1960). The principle of aesthetic design in an urban environment are symmetry, scale, proportion, order, unity, balance, rhythm, contrast and harmony (Moghtin,192). The important elements in determining the quality of public space is size, shape, connections, the disposition of elements within a space and the detailed design (Gehl,1996). A visual characteristic that creates physical differences and generates an aesthetic response is based on the profile, colour, materials, texture, size, height and detail.
The conclusion is the relationship between feelings, sensual desire and immediate state of involvement resulting in the aesthetic response to the environment. The aesthetic appreciation of the environment based on the elements of urban spatial configurations involves different components, meanings and characteristics in the different context of cities as it is based on the culture of the city. Table 2.2 shows the most significant variables from the research made above in façade, interior and context elements.
Façade Interior Context
The relationship between the form and functions:
– Light Visual comfort:
– Natural lighting
– Adequate lighting The function of spaces
Elements of design:
– Volumes Thermal comfort:
– Passive cooling
– Thermal comfort The relationship between the spaces
Materials used Air quality:
– Fresh air Harmonizing with the nature
Table 2.2: Variables of aesthetic value of a building
This chapter describes the research methods used to conduct the study. It presents how the necessary data and information was collected to fulfil the research objectives of this research. The methodology adopted to this research is primarily quantitative analysis from case study and field work, literature review and field survey. The data obtained is analysed and synthesized to achieve the objectives stated.
3.2 Research Methods
In this research, there are three types of methods that is used to find the data and information related to the research. The methods are qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. The qualitative analysis will look into the case study of two mosque in Malaysia: Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, Putrajaya and National Mosque, Kuala Lumpur. The scope of the case study will be focus especially on the façade treatment of the mosque and the selection of the mosques is based on the modern design of the mosque. The quantitative analysis will be conduct on field work of the Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque, Cyberjaya. The research will be concentrated to the façade treatment and the exterior spaces of the mosque.
3.3 Case study of two mosque in Malaysia
There are two building chosen for the case study of the mosque; Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque (Iron Mosque) and National Mosque of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. These building were chosen because of the modern architecture elements in the building. These mosques were chosen as the example of modern elements to determine the aesthetic value of the modern mosque.
3.3.1 Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, Putrajaya
Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque (figure 3.1) is located in Putrajaya’s Precincts 3 opposite the Palace of Justice and one of the landmarks in Putrajaya. The construction of this mosque began since April 2004 and was completed on August 2009 officially opened on 11 June 2010 by the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. The mosque was built to cater approximately 24,000 residents including the government servants working around the city centre as well as areas within the Precincts 2,3,4 and 18. Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque also known as the ‘iron mosque’, as 70% of the mosque structure is made from steel (figure 3.2) and it offer space for 20,000 worshipers at one time. The planners and contractors of the mosque aimed to characterise three design principles: simplicity, airiness and transparency. This mosque is a modern interpretation of Islamic architecture constructed with the German and Chinese architecture style and it combines traditional religiousness with a contemporary sense of identity.
One of the special features of the mosque is that it was constructed without minaret. Minaret is one of the important elements in the construction of mosque as it is used as a place for ‘muazzin’ to call for the prayer. Typical geometric ornamentation decorating the 24m-high façade which characterises a purist steel structure and it employs ‘architectural wire mesh’ imported from Germany and China. The height of the façade and windows were rise that result the optically seamless manner. It is secured with the almost invisibly hook bolts, that expressing the desire of the designer for simplicity, transparency and an openness. The fabric mantle has a semi-transparent/opaque or a metallic, shimmering or even a monochrome, light-grey appearance depends on where we are standing and where the light falling. The reflection of the mankind and the environment was projected with shadowy outlines, distinctively portraying the harmony of co-existence which also represented inside the mosque by the common prayer. At night, purposely staged lighting brings the transparency to life in a burst of illumination.
One of the other unique features of the mosque is the natural air-conditioning system which maintenance-free also fulfil the complex technical functions. In solving the problem of natural air- conditioning and the tropical climate in Malaysia with high temperature all year around and heavy rainfall, the main hall of the mosque is protected by the steel mesh that letting the cooling wind penetrate the whole building. The steel used primarily for it’s almost unlimited service life and low life-cycle costs. Besides, the steel is easy to maintain, non-flammable, resistant to mechanical influences and corrosion and heat proof. Due to the windows opening spread along the whole façade, it provides the shading effects from the sun and rain and at the same time creating the meditative atmosphere in the mosque. The vault steel roof truss (figure 3.3) that holds the roof and the main large long span dome also one of the unique interior features of the mosque.
The landscape around the mosque adapted from the ancient castle of Alhambra (figure 3.4) and the interior is decorated with Al-Asmaul Husna calligraphy of the Thuluth variation. The calligraphy of verses from Surah Al-Baqarah on the right side of the mihrab while Surah Ibrahim on the left side. The mihrab (figure 3.5) wall is made of 13-meter-high glass panel designed for no light will be reflected, creates illusion that the verses are floating in the air and the exposed beam inside of the mosque become one of the elements of interior design of the mosque.
Figure 3.1: Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque
Figure 3.2: Steel mesh of the mosque
Figure 3.3: Vault steel roof truss
Figure 3.4: Landscape of the mosque
Figure 3.5: Mihrab and Mihrab wall
3.3.2 National Mosque of Malaysia
The National Mosque of Malaysia (figure 3.6) was built between 1963 and 1965 in order to memorialize the independence of Malaysia suggested by the Federal Executive Council. The original idea of naming the mosque is after the first Malaysia prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj to recognize his contribution but he suggested to name the mosque with Masjid Negara to symbolize the country’s unity and multi-cultural harmony as well as to give thanks to Allah for the country’s peaceful independence achieved without a single drop of blood being shed. The most significance features of the mosque are the 73-metre high minaret which resembles a folded umbrella. The architecture of the mosque is influenced by the Middle East Islamic architecture and Modernist expressionism with the local adaption of modernism.
The roof over the prayer hall is the strongest external features of the mosque as it is outstanding and unique from another mosque dome. It has a folded plate dome with 16 folds that and shape like a semi-opened umbrella with the intricate geometric, stellate or vegetal motifs in the interior of the dome. The green and blue tiles of the dome inspired from the mosque in the Middle East mosque style. There are triangular blue stained panel (figure 3.7) with qurannic verses at the dome and it can be seen from the inside of the mosque and giving out the light that controls the atmosphere of the mosque. Inside of the mosque, the pillars are paved with terrazzo pieces and the on top part of the pillars were concrete carved with the repetition of organic design. At the veranda area of the mosque, the columns are overlaid with the unglazed black mosaic tiles with golden laminated mosaic tiles at the top and bottom of the mosque. The 73m-high minarets are also the elements of the mosque and it is located attached to the main prayer hall and rising from the middle of the reflecting pool. The shape of the top part of the mosque also fused with the design of the dome of the National Mosque. The courtyard garden of the mosque (figure 3.8) serves the cooling effects to the prayer hall and with the octagon shape ablution place that symbolised fullness and regeneration. The combination of the courtyard, reflecting pools and fountains that spreads through the compound of the mosque not only provide the sense of welcoming but also as a cooling effects of the mosque.
The Islamic architecture can be seen at the uses of horseshoe arch in mihrab which featuring abstract shapes and geometric lattice incorporated into its roofing and ironworks. In category of modern expressionism, the shape of the mosque inspired by the shape of an umbrella as the umbrella is used to escort the royal and also symbolised the protection of Allah. In order to cope with hot and humid tropical climate in Malaysia, the architect designed an extensive of serambi or veranda space with light and air wells to provide sufficient daylight and passive cooling to the building. The uses of geometric shape screening (figure 3.9) not only create aesthetic feature and ventilation installation, but also portrays religious message. For example, the star shape at the centre of the geometric screening represents the Quran which also represents the middle of the universe while the complex star pattern indicated the neighbouring star and solar system.
The mosque did not portray luxurious and heavy decorative elements as its façade. The plain white concrete walls with geometric concrete screening decorate the four-side façade of the mosque. The geometric screening used to allow the lights passing through inside of the mosque and in the same time creating interesting light and shadows. The shadows of the symmetrical octagon patterns appear on the floors giving the sense of meditation and focus to the prayers and also giving the mesmerizing effect for the worshipers. It allows adequate amount of illumination and ventilation and also providing the calm ambience in the mosque. Even though the National Mosque is a modernist expressionism that rejects any form of ornamentation, still there are some minor details in order to maintain the elements of Islamic architecture. The mosque adapts the geometric patterns that express the independence of Islam happen in any historical occasions around the universe. Besides, the use of kufic scripts that can be found on the building walls especially in the halls of the prayer.
Figure 3.6: National Mosque
Figure 3.7: Triangular blue stained panel at the main prayer hall
Figure 3.8: Courtyard of the mosque
Figure 3.9: Geometric screening
3.4 Field work
Field work was conducted at the Masjid Raja Haji Fisabilillah, Cyberjaya for further study for this research. In order to find more information, a visit to the mosque was made in 3rd of May 2018. The field work will include:
Figure 3.10: Scope of field work
3.4.1 Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque, Cyberjaya
Masjid Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque (figure 3.11) is a principal mosque of Cyberjaya located 30 km from north Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The construction of the mosque starts in 5 April 2013 until it was completed on 24 February 2015 and was officially opened on 22 June 2016 by the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah in conjunction with the Nuzul Quran celebration on 17 Ramadhan 1437 Hijrah. This mosque was named after the Crown Prince of the Johor-Riau, Raja Haji Fisabilillah ibni Daeng Celak. Besides, this mosque hosts a wide range of activities such as wedding ceremony and Friday markets.
The architectural style of this mosque is modern futuristic mosque and can fit up to 8500 worshippers in a time. Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque is the first mosque in Malaysia to be awarded with Platinum-Green Building Index. The objective construction of the mosque was to decrease the energy a cost use by 30% to help preserving the nature. The green building features of this mosque includes rainwater harvesting for landscaping and toilet use, Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning system for energy, energy-efficient LED lights (Low-E panel glass that reduces heat transfer), grasscrete paving system and rooftop solar panels (maximize the natural air ventilation system). One of the technology used for constructing the mosque is energy efficient LED (Low-E panel glass) at the dome of the main prayer hall (figure 3.12) that minimize the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that comes through the glass without minimizing the amount of light that enters the mosque. It keeps the consistency of the temperature inside of the mosque by reflecting the interior temperature back inside. This keep the worshippers cooling effect and provide comfort.
One of the unique feature of the mosque is it has smaller dome and minaret compared to another mosque with open garden at the centre of the mosque Figure 3.13). The open concept of the mosque helps in the air flow and passive open concept. Only a small part of the main prayer hall was enclosed, but most of it is an open area. The facilities of the mosque include open prayer hall, meeting room, classroom, room for imam, office, toilet, mortuary management room and ablution area.
Figure 3.11: Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque, Cyberjaya
Figure 3.12: Main prayer hall
Figure 3.13: Open garden at the centre of the mosque
DATA ANALYSIS, RESULTS AND FINDINGS
This chapter analyses and presents the findings of the data collection from the previous chapter. In this chapter, the variables needed in identifying the aesthetic value of Raja Haji Fisabilillah mosque based on the information gained from the research made.
4.2 Results and discussions
In order to evaluate the aesthetic value of Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque, the evaluation of the variables of the aesthetic value as stated in Table 2.0: Variables of aesthetic value of a building, the façade and the context will have included without involving the interior values. The results from the case study of Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque and National Mosque along with the field work of Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque stated that the aesthetic value of a building especially the façade and the context depend on a few factors:
i. The relationship between the form and function
ii. Elements of design
iii. Materials used
The façade of a building gives the first impression to the person. In order to evaluate the aesthetic value of a building, the relationship between the form of the building and the functionalities of the building plays a big role as the form of the building follows the function of the building. The form of a building includes the shape, size, scale, proportion, rhythm, articulation, texture, colour and light.
The rectangle shape of the Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque portrays the simplicity of the design of the mosque along with the purity of Malaysian mosque architecture style with the incorporations of traditional Islamic design elements. The design of the mosque with the modern approach emphasising the building’s sustainability elements without abandoning the spiritual design essence in Islam and it is in lined with the vision of Cyberjaya being a green city in the future. The mosque also equipped with a central courtyard (figure 4.0) with a tree at the centre is designed both for the ventilation and natural lighting for both of the ground and first floor. The rectangle shape of the mosque portrays the basic design of mosque in Islamic architecture with the rational regarding to the order of the prayer saffs or rows.
Figure 4.0: Central courtyard
One of the unique feature of the mosque is the iconic slender minaret (figure 4.1), five-tiered, made of steel, standing 27 metres high and situated at the front of the plaza with the ablution area located below. The minaret does not function as the real function of the minaret which is a place for the ‘muazzin’ to chant the ‘athan’, the call for prayer and the announcements the prayer time to the worshipper but the five-tiered minaret symbolizes the five pillars in Islam; declaration of faith (shahadah), obligatory of prayer (salah), compulsory giving (zakah), fasting in Ramadhan (sawm) and pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).
Figure 4.1: The minaret
Figure 4.2: The dome
Figure 4.3: View of the dome inside the mosque
Besides, the unique single dome (figure 4.2) also one the main attraction and innovative features of the mosque. The dome shaped did not follow the basic shape of dome; oval or onion shape but features modernistic style of two tier octagon shape dome with the symbol of crescent moon and star on top. The dome situated over the enclosed main prayer hall as it is the holiest section of the mosque function as shade and allow natural lighting. The dome was decorated with the geometric shape detailing with the glass to allow the light and the glass at the base of the dome are yellow and green in colour. In the inside of the mosque (figure 4.3), the dome is decorated with the calligraphy of the whole Surah Al-Zalzalah (99:1-8). The front side of the mosque near the main prayer hall, there is a small water catchment (figure 4.4) functioning as the cooling effects and rainwater catchment.
Figure 4.4: Water elements
The mosque is designed with the openness and without wall to allow the wind circulating inside of the mosque and gives comfort to the worshippers. This create the sense of welcoming for people to visit any time without any constriction. The only enclosed place of the mosque is the main prayer hall while the outer space of the mosque is not enclosed and can be used as the multi-purpose space; for prayer, resting or activities. Therefore, the geometrical screening devices (figure 4.5) is used and it function in blocking the direct sunlight from entering the mosque but also allow the natural ventilation and the screening placed all around the mosque. Ground floor and first floor are not enclosed and the separation from the surrounding are only the screening devices. The opening of the floor gives the wider effects for the interior spaces of the mosque but also allows the maximum natural lighting and ventilation minimises the usage of mechanical lighting and ventilation. This contributes the bigger part of comfort to the users of the mosque and in the same time save the energy cost of the mosque. The detailing shape of the screening devices added the aesthetic value to the mosque as the combination of different shapes and the series of repetition of ornamental formations gives the satisfaction feeling to the visitors.
Figure 4.5: The detailing of geometrical screening devices
The mosque can occupy up to 8,300 worshippers in a time. As the main mosque of Cyberjaya, the mosque blend with the surrounding building size at it is not as big as the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque or National Mosque, but it is enough to provide space for the nearby residents.
The openness concept of the mosque creates a bigger space even though the real size of the mosque is quite small compared to another mosque but from the inside of the mosque, it appears bigger than what was seen from the outside. The height of each level of the mosque are 3 metres height, but the wide and tall opening of the mosque helps in creating and altering our perception of the actual size of the mosque. Inside of the main prayer hall (figure 4.6), the double height of it creates the feeling of humbleness of human as the servant in this world and no greater power besides Allah, the greatest. On the outer part of the main prayer hall (figure 4.7), the spaces without wall helps the worshippers in find peace and comfort and being one with the nature.
Figure 4.6: The main prayer hall
Figure 4.7: The open spaces of first floor
The mosque implicated the basic structure; column, beam, floor slab, roof slabs and a dome using reinforced concrete. The main prayer hall use glass to separate the spaces with the outside spaces without a rigid separation to create the senses of connection with the nature outside of the mosque. The advantages of the glass used is not only create the illusion of wider spaces but also does not carry any structural load from the building except for its own dead load weight. The lateral wind load will be transfer to the main building structure through the connection at floors or columns of the building. The column (figure 4.8) of the mosque supporting the beams and slabs and also the dome.
Figure 4.8: Column
The column of the canopy (figure 4.9) outside the mosque create the sense of rhythm as the same size of column organised in a linear row. It is use as an intersection spaces for users to take off or wear their shoes and to rest for a while. The use of repetition of geometrical screening devices create sense of rhythm in space that a person can enjoy sense of organised movement as a musical beat. Furthermore, the detailing of the regular rhythm of the vertical calligraphy the word ‘Lailahaillah’ at the wall panels and the vertical slits line with the calligraphy of ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahim’ at the main door (figure 4.10) combining with the geometric screening gives the sense of satisfaction to the viewers.
Figure 4.9: The canopy
Figure 4.10: Detailing of wall panel
The mosque mainly uses reinforced smooth wall finishes to the whole structure. A few geometric shape panels were placed at the entrance of the mosque (figure 4.11) to add a few delicate but simple detailing together with the geometric wallpaper stick to the glass of the elevator.
Figure 4.11: Main entrance of the mosque
Colour is a sensory perception and has the effects that are symbolic and it is one of the important elements of a building facades. The overall colour of the mosque is white (figure 4.12) with the combination of small portion of brown and grey. White gives the feeling of hygiene, clarity, cleanliness, simplicity and sophisticated. White is the colour of a total reflection and it reflects the full force of the spectrum into our eyes. It creates barriers and gives heightened perception of spaces and also helps in diffuse light sources and reduce the shadows. The green colour of the central courtyard (figure 4.13) symbolises the nature and it has a calming effect. Moreover, it can help in relieving stress and help in healing. Brown colour of the male ablution area (figure 4.14) placed outside of the mosque releases the warmth, nature and earthiness feelings. It is a solid and reliable colour that most people found it supportive, and it helps the users of the mosque feels the calmness start to emerging in their selves to temporarily forget their problems and seek help from Allah. The yellow and green colour glass used at the dome (figure 4.15) can be seen inside the main prayer hall. The use of the colour related to the psychology of the worshippers as the yellow colour will lift our spirits and our self-esteem and it is the colour of confidence and optimism. This helps the stimulates the worshipper’s feelings and re-energises and continue their daily activities. Furthermore, the green colour strikes the eye in such way as to require no adjustments whatever it is, therefore, restful. Green is the colour of balance and it gives the vibes of refreshments, reassurance and restoration. The combination of the colour gives the worshippers a moment of resting in ibadah and re-energises after that.
Figure 4.12: The colour of the mosque – white
Figure 4.13: Central courtyard
Figure 4.14: Ablution area
Figure 4.15: Main prayer hall
Light is an important parameter of human sense to adapt with the surrounding and the character of lights can affect the human’s mood. The lights influence the appearance and the atmosphere of the spaces. The wide opening of the mosque creates the iconic significance, identity, movements and flow of the building. The natural and artificial lighting helps in shaping the mosque appearance during the daytime, evening and night time. Light can penetrate far into the mosque area without increasing the temperature and it also apply at the main prayer hall where the glass dome provides both shade and natural light. Outside, the geometrical screening (figure 4.16) devices use to limit the direct sunlight. Moreover, the screening devices give the shadowing effects as the character of daylight; intensity of sunlight, direction and colour influences the how the spaces perceived.
Figure 4.16: Geometrical screening
4.2.2 Elements of design
The combination of these elements; lines, planes and volume. The lines describing the path or a point in motion and capable in expressing the direction, movement and growth. Volumes of the building define by the surface, lines and points. The volumes add the sense of realism and the space within the volume filled with pattern and texture that have been discussed to the surface to create the illusion of volume and depth of the mosque.
4.2.3 Materials used
Materials used for the construction of the mosque is reinforced concrete as the main materials. Besides, the geometrical screening devices made of steel is used to maximises the natural air ventilation system. The shining and reflects marble tiles was used for the interior spaces of the mosque and gives the aesthetic vibes as we can see the reflection of the geometric shape of screening devices on the floor. Even though the tiles shines, it does not increase the temperature of it thus when the users step on it, it does not feel hot. The double glazed Low-E glass at the domes allow lights and the heat inside of the main prayer hall will rise and extracted using the ventilators on top of the dome’s underside and just below its pinnacle. Releasing the jot air inside of the hall helps in reducing the temperature and help maintaining it. Inside of the main prayer hall, the mihrab and the mimbar (figure 4.17) was made of cengal wood.
Figure 4.17: Mihrab and Mimbar
This chapter will conclude the overall previous chapter.
Table 2.0: Façade elements
Aesthetic value of the Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque depends on a few factors as stated before, it includes the façade, interior and the context of the building. As for the façade element, the important variables are; the relationship between the form and functions, elements of design and materials used. The interior elements include visual comfort, thermal comfort and air quality of the building while the context elements include the function of spaces, the relationship between the spaces and the harmonization of the building with the nature. In this research, it only focused on the façade elements of the mosque.
In the relationship between the form and the functions, the variables that matter are the shape, size, scale, proportion, rhythm, texture, colour and light. The Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque portrays the simple basic rectangular shape with modern approach with the mixture of modern futuristic architecture and the Islamic architecture. Besides, the mosque also incorporated with the green and sustainable building design. The features of the mosque are quite different from the usual design in Malaysia. It can be seen from the unique design of the minaret and the dome of the mosque. The sustainable design of the mosque that can be seen in the mosque is the water catchments that functions as the cooling agents, the rainwater harvesting system for landscaping and toilet use, Low-E panel glass that can reduces heat and the open design that maximises the natural ventilation. In order to help the preserving the nature, the energy usage is targeted to be decreasing up till 30%. The wide opening of the mosque helps in natural ventilation and the geometric screening devices gives the vibes of Islamic architecture and also the aesthetic value to the mosque façade.
The size of the is not as big as the other main or state mosque but it is enough to hold up to 8,300 worshippers in a time. The scale of the mosque is it look smaller compared to the actual size because once people enter the mosque, the wide opening creates the feeling of spacious without any constriction. People can basically see the whole mosque at the entrance. The mosque was constructed with the basic structure, column, beam, slabs and domes. The only wall that separate the main prayer hall and the outer spaces is using the glass wall.
Rhythm of the mosque created with the exposed column without wall organized in a line order. The repetition of calligraphy at the skin of the mosque building gives the satisfaction feeling to the users. Texture of the mosque includes the smooth reinforced concrete wall finishes and the addition of the simple yet attractive geometric panels placed at the main entrance.
The overall mosque was painted with white colour. At the psychology side, the white colour gives the feeling of hygiene, clarity, cleanliness, simplicity and sophisticated. The combination of pure white with brown colour of the ablution area and a hint of green colour of the central courtyard produce calming and refreshments effects to the worshippers. White colour also did not absorb much heat and this helps in the cooling effects of the mosque. The light of the mosque consists of natural lighting and mechanical lighting. During daytime, the mosque depends fully to the natural lighting even in the toilet while mechanical lighting only functioning at the night time and this automatically save the energy usage of the mosque. The lighting also gives the effects of shadow casting and reflections on the tiles of the mosque.
The combination of the lines, planes and volumes elements also creates the aesthetic elements of the mosque. The materials used in the construction of the mosque are reinforced concrete, marble tiles, Low-E glass panels and inside of the mosque, mihbrab and mimbar was made of cengal wood.
Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque portrays different style of mosque in Malaysia far from the usual style of the mosque design. The usage of sustainability design in a mosque proved that it is helps in preserving the nature and in the same time can attract many people to visit the mosque. This mosque has a welcoming sense and people can visit anytime they want without any constriction.