Commenced in January 2007
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Philosophy, Geometry, and Purpose in Islamic and Gothic Architecture as Two Religious-Based Styles

Authors: P. Nafisi Poor, P. Javid


Religion and divinity have always held important meaning to humans, and therefore it affects different aspects of life including art and architecture. Numerous works of art are related to religion whether supporting or denying it. Religion and religious scholars have influenced and changed art throughout history. This paper focuses on Islam and Christianity because these two religions have been the most discussed and most popular of all time, starting from the birth of Jesus to the arrival of Mohammad. Based on this popularity, these religions have influenced the arts and especially architecture. Islam on one hand changed Iranian and Arabian architecture and they applied it in different places around the world. From the appearance of Islam at 622 AD to this day, Islamic architecture has been evolving; however, one of the most important periods for this style was between 1501 AD and 1736 AD in Iran. Christianity, on the other hand, changed European architecture especially between 1150 AD and 1450 AD or the so-called "Gothic" era, which begins at medieval time and reaches its peak at International Gothic ages. At both of these periods, designing buildings based on spiritual concepts and divine statements reached its peak, and architects were considering God and religion as their center of attention. This article studies the focus on the religions of Islam and Christianity in terms of architecture and presents a general philosophy of both styles to comprehend the idea behind each one, followed by an analysis of their geometry and architectural aspects derived from the best examples, all to understand the purpose of each style and to realize, which one was more successful in reaching their purpose. Subsequently, a comprehensive review of each building is provided including 3D visualizations to help achieve the goal of the article. These studies can support diverse inquiries about both Islamic and Gothic architecture and can be used as a resource to support studies and research towards designing based on religion or for divine purposes.

Keywords: Architecture, gothic, Islamic, religion.

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