Tag Archives: architecture

Mihrab (prayer niche), Iran, Isfahan, Ilkhanid period (1206–1353), mosaic of polychrome–glazed cut tiles on stonepaste body; set into mortar; 135 1/16 x 113 11/16 in., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Photo via The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mihrab (prayer niche), Iran, Isfahan, Ilkhanid period (1206–1353), mosaic of polychrome–glazed cut tiles on stonepaste body; set into mortar; 135 1/16 x 113 11/16 in., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Photo via The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Just a Second: Mihrab

Mihrab (noun) A mihrab is a niche in an Islamic mosque that indicates the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca toward which all Muslims should face when they pray.

Antoni Gaudí, Detail of the Nativity Façade (east façade), 1894-1930, Church of the Holy Family, Barcelona, photo by Enfo via Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Just a Second: Façade

Façade  A façade is the face of a building. Often an architect embellishes a façade with a special architectural or ornamental treatment. The Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí created perhaps the world’s most elaborate Art Nouveau façade, the Nativity Façade, for … Continue reading

Sainte-Chapelle, 1241-1248, Île de la Cité, Paris, Photo by Didier B, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic via Wikipedia.

Sainte-Chapelle If You Love Blue

Built by French King Louis IX, a.k.a. St. Louis, in the mid-13th century, Sainte-Chapelle almost itself is a reliquary rather than a chapel to house reliquaries. The space is connected to the Royal Palace so that the royal family could simply walk into … Continue reading

Vault and colored ceiling of the Iwan of an Imamzadeh at the tomb of Omar Khayyam, 1962, Photo by By dynamosquito via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Just a Second: Iwan

Iwan (noun) An iwan is a vaulted room open on one side, usually onto a courtyard in an Islamic mosque.  The iwan in Omar Khayyam’s tomb in Neishabour, Iran is decorated with characteristic Islamic geometric and vegetal motifs.

Philip Johnson, The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut, 1945 - 1949, Photo by Staib via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Philip Johnson’s Glass House and The Architecture of Transparency

The Art Minute University: This post was written by Ryan Maler, a student at Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX. The Glass House, designed by architect Philip Johnson, is set in a rural landscape in New Canaan, Connecticut. The modern home has … Continue reading

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Just a Second: Ambulatory

Ambulatory (noun) A place for walking, usually an aisle in a church around the apse. In Santa Costanza in Rome, the mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Constantine’s daughter Constantina, the ambulatory is circular and goes around a space where the … Continue reading

Interior of San Vitale, 526-547 CE, Ravenna, Italy, Photo by sjmcdonoughvia Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 ShareAlike License. 2

San Vitale in Ravenna: Justinian’s Little Gem

San Vitale is one of the first examples of Byzantine art and architecture in Western civilization. In the 6th century, under the reign of Justinian, Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) became the political and religious center of the Christian Byzantine Empire and … Continue reading

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Pure Freedom

Frank Gehry’s design for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain is so completely unhindered by traditional rules that regulate architectural design that the building has a sculptural appearance that is totally independent of any school of architecture from history. Gehry … Continue reading