Identity - - BOOKS -

Writ­ten by Leyla Uluhanli, In­tro­duc­tion by Re­nata Holod, Fore­word by Prince Amyn Aga Khan Riz­zoli

This is not a book that one reads – it’s one that read­ers will in­habit. Its pages tran­scend the realms of ar­chi­tec­ture, photography, his­tory and re­li­gion, al­low­ing it to be­come its own mode of sa­cred space.

This au­thor­i­ta­tive source on Is­lamic ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign cel­e­brates mosques both an­cient and con­tem­po­rary, with ex­ploratory es­says by ex­perts from es­teemed global in­sti­tu­tions. The vol­ume’s two sec­tions of­fer a rich, elab­o­rate his­tory of the mosque, as well as form and or­na­ment in Is­lamic de­sign. What fol­lows is a vis­ual and in­tel­lec­tual his­tory of mosques through­out the Mid­dle East, Europe, North Africa and the sub-Sa­hara, the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent, North Amer­ica, and Rus­sia and the Cau­ca­sus.

Vis­ually stun­ning, its orig­i­nal and archival pho­to­graphs take read­ers inside and out­side of these spaces, and re­veal cal­lig­ra­phy and tile­work, as well as fur­nish­ings and il­lu­mi­na­tion. High­lights in­clude the Great Mosque of Cór­doba, Is­tan­bul’s Sü­ley­maniye Mosque and new de­signs, as ex­em­pli­fied by the San­cak­lar Mosque.

This is a book for de­sign­ers, trav­ellers and any­one on a spir­i­tual jour­ney, and au­thor Leyla Uluhanli cap­tures its spirit most pro­foundly: “Their skil­ful in­te­gra­tion of or­na­ment, cal­lig­ra­phy and unique ar­chi­tec­tural forms – the mihrab, the dome and the minaret – is ex­tra­or­di­nary. To­day, their cre­ations serve as im­por­tant mod­els for a new gen­er­a­tion of in­spired sanc­tu­ar­ies.”

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