Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 103–115

Formal Style of Medersas Buildings in North Africa


DOI: 10.1007/s00004-015-0236-x

Cite this article as:
Boussora, K. Nexus Netw J (2015) 17: 103. doi:10.1007/s00004-015-0236-x


Style in Islamic architecture is generally characterized as common features appearing in a class of buildings. This research considers style as an ordering principle. It proposes new tools for style analysis drawn from modern mathematics. A morphological approach is applied to four façades of North African Medersas buildings constructed between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. The results show that these facades share compositional similarities, and that their order and composition are governed by topological relationships. The application of graph theory and the use of computing tools make it possible to objectify the understanding of the style of the façade, and demonstrates how the representation of the façade in the form of a graph can reveal the structural topological arrangement as well as the ability to conduct calculations on the graph of the façade. The betweenness centrality measure reveals the existence of different interconnected levels of hierarchy, controlling the system of the facade.


Islamic architecture Façade designs Architectural style Topology Graph theory Beweenness centrality Morphological analysis 

Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecole Polytechnique d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme, EPAU, Laboratoire Ville, Architecture et PatrimoineAlgerAlgeria

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