Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 95–123 | Cite as

Muqarnas Domes and Cornices in the Maghreb and Andalusia

  • José Carlos Palacios Gonzalo
  • Rana Munir Alkadi


Muqarnas domes and cornices represent a unique element in Islamic architecture. Muqarnas embody a form of architectural ornament with a cellular structure. This style includes an endless variety of longitudinal friezes and, in particular, generates a system that builds astonishing vaults consisting of complex combinations of units that are challenging to distinguish. The geometric divisions of a squinch create a large number of mini-squinches that produce various Muqarnas arrangements. The Muqarnas architectural ornament can be understood by juxtaposing the different individual forms together to cover a space, creating a vault, dome or linear cornice. Here, we aim to investigate the origins of the Muqarnas cellular structure and to establish the substantial difference between the Muqarnas located in the Eastern and Western regions. Emphasis is then placed on the methodologies for assembling and building the Muqarnas in the Maghreb and Andalusia.


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Carlos Palacios Gonzalo
    • 1
  • Rana Munir Alkadi
    • 2
  1. 1.Construction and Technology in Architectural DepartmentTechnical University of MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Hekma School of Design and ArchitectureDar Al-Hekam UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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