Heritage building analysis _ Royal Mosque of Sultan Sulaiman


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Heritage building analysis _ Royal Mosque of Sultan Sulaiman

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Heritage building analysis _ Royal Mosque of Sultan Sulaiman

  1. 1. Royal Mosque of Sultan Sulaiman Masjid Diraja Sultan Sulaiman Heritage Building Analysis Architecture Culture & History 2 ARC 1323 Nurul Jannah Masturah Jailani (0310210) Gertrude Lee (0306265) Trevor Hoareau (0308914) Kee Ting Ting (0310019) Pn Norhayati
  2. 2. Contents 1 Introduction 1.1 Building Facts 1.2 Contextual Conditions 1.3 Concept and Design 2 Building Inventory 2.1 Stained Glass 2.2 Ornamentation 2.3 Domes 2.4 Minaret 2.5 Arches 2.6 Façade 2.7 Groined vaulting 3 Conclusion
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Masjid Sultan Sulaiman Jamiur – Rahmah, also known as Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque, was named after the fifth Sultan of Selangor which is Sultan Sir Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah (1898-1938). This mosque is located at Jalan Kota Raja, Klang, Selangor. This mosque was designed by the British architect Leofic Kesteven. This mosque was completed in the year 1932 and was officially opened by the fifth Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah on 1934. Besides being a place for worship for the Islam and a sign of the Supremacy of the King, it was also to introduce the idea whereby the mosque act as the complex of religion which has the administrative body, the educational body and others during the early 19th century. Other famous old buildings which are around the same area as Masjid Sultan Sulaiman are Kolej Islam Sultan Alam Shah, The Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery and Istana Alam Shah. Kolej Islam Sultan Alam Shah was initially a palace which was donated by Almarhum Sultan Hishamuddin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Sulaiman to become a college until today. His hope was that this college would produce scholars who is loyal to Allah and can guide the community towards pure Islamic teaching and values. The Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery was dedicated in honour of his late father, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah. Lastly, Istana Alam Shah is the official palace of the Sultan of Selangor. This palace was built in 1905 during the rule of Sultan Sir Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah, fifth Sultan of Selangor. Image 1.1 : Kolej Islam Sultan Alam Shah (KISAS) Source : www.kisas.org
  4. 4. Image 1.2 : Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque Source : Gertrude Lee, 2013 Image 1.3 : The Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery Source: www.thestar.com.my
  5. 5. Image 1.4 : Istana Alam Shah, Klang, Selangor Source: www.asiaexplorers.com As mention, the architect, Leofic Kesteven was appointed by the British to design the mosque. He designed it in such a way that the mosque’s architecture has an influence of Islamic Architecture and the combination of Western Art Deco and Neoclassical cathedral style. The original design of the building is like a church plan, whereby the design is like a cross bar when viewed from above. This is due to the fact that the mosque could be converted into a church if the British were to consider colonizing Malaysia completely. The building is made out of stone, as this was under the influence of the British and Indian Muslim. The most noticeable feature of the plan is the central plan. This plan uses two main axes of the axis of the East-West and North- South. There are eight small towers around the mosque and a large tower in the middle and higher entrance from the main porch. The tower is also decorated with yellow dome at the summit.
  6. 6. BUILDING INVENTORY – Elements of the Building Stained Glass The mosque was designed and built during the British colonization in the 19th century. There was a theory that the British architect, although the mosque as a gift to the Sultan, he had designed it in a way that resembles a church so that if the British managed to colonize Malaysia completely, they can just convert it into church. One of the elements that were implemented in the design of the mosque was stained glass (refer image 2.1.1). Stained glass is a common element found in the architecture of churches and cathedrals to light symbolizing God and the colors from the glass symbolizing jewels embellishing the Heavenly City of Jerusalem. It’s the only form of art, which is observed through refracted and not reflected light, so its appearance changes according to the time of the day and season of the year. Stained glass can be arranged to create a figural design and painting or set contrasting pieces in a framework like a mosaic. Although the British wanted it to resemble church, they had to respect the Islamic style that had been used for mosques. Normally, stained glass windows would depict pictures of religious individuals but in Islam it is highly discouraged. It is haram to make illustrations or portrayals of God or the Prophets.
  7. 7. Image 2.1.1 : Stain Glass (Dome) Source : Jannah Jailani , 2013
  8. 8. Image 2.1.2 : Stain Glass Source : Jannah Jailani , 2013 Image 2.1.3 : Stain Glass Source : Jannah Jailani , 2013
  9. 9. Ornamentation An overall minimalistic building, the mosque does contain certain ornamentations, predominantly geometrical patterns but there are traces of arabesque on plain solid walls. Mosques tend to be simple and undecorated. Lavish and extravagant ornaments were dissuaded because it’s considered as boasting. But there are grand mosques in the world that were built as a political statement or were converted from churches, synagogues and temples. In Islamic architecture, geometric patterns are generated from repeating, combining, interlacing and arranging simple shapes into different combinations to form complex patterns. The Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque consists of geometric patterns that can be found on the walls and fences of the mosque and on floor tiles in the courtyard. The ornamentation used was not complex, mostly resembling stars or flowers. There are also hints of arabesque, an intricate ornament composed of vegetal and geometric patterns along with calligraphic ornament of an inscription. Image 2.2.1 : Ornamentation Source : Jannah Jailani , 2013
  10. 10. Image 2.2.2 : Ornamentation Source : Jannah Jailani , 2013 Image 2.2.3 : Ornamentation Source : Jannah Jailani , 2013
  11. 11. Minaret Minarets or manara (Image 2.3), are towers that can be found attaches to the mosque. The largest minaret and tallest is placed in the middle of the walkway, is surrounded by 8 smaller minarets, all adorned with yellow domes, were added on after the British colonization.Considered to be one of the most distinctive features of the Islamic architecture in mosques, it was said that the development of minarets was influenced by several sources. The word minaret, may originally meant ‘an object that gives light’, used in old Arabic poetry to mean oil lamp or rush light used in the cell of the Christian monk. Later, the word was used to describe ‘light-towers’ or ‘lighthouse’. “Schwally has suggested, and he is followed by Douttée, that the application of the word ‘manārat’ to the tower of a mosque is due to the light held by the Muezzin as he recites the call to prayer at which gives the onlooker below the idea of a light-tower...”(Gottheil, 1910) Although it’s main function is to give call to prayers and require no great details, nowadays minarets are built tall and lavished with ornamentation as a political statement of a certain community or association. In the medieval Islamic world, the Muezzins used to recite the call to prayer from the roof of the mosque or the top of the minarets, but with the development of technology, loudspeakers are attached to the minarets to make the calls instead of the Muezzin himself.
  12. 12. Image 2.3 : Minaret Source : Jannah Jailani, 2013
  13. 13. Dome The most obvious element of the mosque is the dome (Image 2.4). A dome is a vault created by turning an arch trhough 360 degrees to form a curved roof that creates a magnificent silhouette against the sky. It is a common element found in Islamic architecture. Image 2.4 : The Domes of Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque Source : Trevor Hoareau , 2013 The very first construction of the dome began in the Roman Architectural Revolution and were an important part of the early Christian and Byzantine architecture. In the Muslim world, construction of domes reached its peak during the 16th – 18th centuries. The dome, in the mosque, is placed directly above the main prayer hall. This symbolizes the vault of heaven and the sky. The dome is an efficient structure that helps to keep the inside of the building cool and airy, improving the ventilation especially in hot climates like Malaysia. Consequently, the mosque does not require a lot of fans to keep the interior well ventilated. The dome also acts as an amplifier for the voice of the person who’s addressing the congregation.
  14. 14. Arch One of the most incredible architectural discovery is the arch (refer to image 2.5), dating back to ancient times but is still in wide use today, as up until the 19th century, it was the only known method for roofing without the use of beams. Arches are especially use in cathedrals during the medieval times, supporting the great weight of the stone ceilings when the walls were weakened by the presence of many windows and the arches are often supported by buttresses. Unique to architecture was the Islamic arch, found about the same time in the Middle East. Numerous advances were made by the culture until they have developed a horseshoe-shaped arch. According to FSTC Limited (2002), the horseshoe arch is a symbol of sainthood and holiness and it is an improved version of the Roman semicircular arch in that it is much more circular in shape. Besides, it also provided a better improvement allowing more heights than the classical arch as well as better aesthetic and ornamental use. The Islamic arches can be found in mosques throughout the Middle East as well as other Islamic countries like Malaysia. Image 2.5 : Arches in Riwaq (additional space for pilgrims to pray) Sources : Jannah Jailani , 2013
  15. 15. Façade Pebble dashing wall finish, referring to image 2.6, was implemented on the design of the mosque. Pebbledash is the modern rendering process that dates from Roman time. The finish renders the external walls by mixing lime or cement with sand; small gravel and pebbles then cast the wall with it. "In Britain, it is thought to have originated in the 16th century in East Anglia, where there had been a recent revival of brick making, but none except the grandest could afford a whole wall full of the smart new bricks"- described by Derbyshire Aggregates Ltd. In 19th century, William Morris instigated that it caught the eye of the Arts and Crafts movement. Besides that, the functions that it provided are improved water shedding properties, gave good impact resistance, provided a low maintenance decorative finish, and so on. (Derbyshire Aggregates Ltd 2009 - 2013) The pebbledash finish is originally used as protection from the weather but in common, this finish does not add any additional strength to a wall. With the recent development of aggregate products for dashing, pebbledash are now available in great choice of colour and texture. This rendering is significant in Britain due to the climate of Britain, which is damp and high in humidity. This climatic condition is ideal for sand and cement renders in that it slows the curing time. Similar condition applies to the Malaysia’s climate, which is also damp and humid all year long.    
  16. 16. Image 2.6 : wall with pebble dashing finish Source: Jannah Jailani, 2013
  17. 17. Groin Vaulting A vault is a ceiling of brick, stone or concrete built in the principle of the arch. A groin vault is formed when a barrel vault is intersected at right angles another barrel vault of the same size. It was first exploited by the Romans but soon obscured by the development of ribbed vaults of Gothic architecture. Its efficient form allows full illumination from the sides as well as allowing minimum use of materials and labor over the simple vault since the thrust is concentrated along the groins, so only at its four corners need to be abutted. Referring the image 2.7, groined vaults were implemented around the entrances of the Mosque that permits additional openings for each section. Image 2.7 : Groin vaulting in Main Entrance Source: Jannah Jailani, 2013
  18. 18. CONCLUSION This study allowed us to carry out a building survey and inspections/site visits to record and observe the architectural style of this mosque, Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque. Across Malaysia, there are various types of mosque architecture with common properties/features, whereas others stand out as more unique. This paper presents an analysis of the Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque built in 1932. The study classifies and describes the various features and elements of the mosque to better understand which architectural style mostly influenced its design and construction. Moreover, it is clear that the Art-Deco style is apparent throughout this design, with of course the influence of Western Art Deco and Neo-classical Architecture, as described by the specific features in the report. Befitting its great historical value, the Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque was declared a National Heritage by the Minister of Information Communications and Culture, YB Dato Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim on 10 May 2012, at the National Heritage Declaration Ceremony. The practice of building conservation which includes the works of repair and maintenance may guarantee this buildings life span. It is a process which leads to the prolongation of the life of cultural property. Building conservation should be seen as a way of preserving particular aspects of Malaysia's history and development. In most cities and towns in Malaysia, the mosques are usually more distinctive than other buildings, and the Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque is one of them. Sometimes, mosques of unique architectural styles become the landmarks and focal points in the streets. This results in the formation of a unique identity to the urban area which may enhance the Muslim communities and cultures.
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