Central Courtyard in Traditional Mosques of Iran

Vida Makani


Although the “central courtyard” or “Sahn”—as an important part of Iranian mosques with its formal, conceptual, and functional richness—provides a unique spatial experience for worshipers, little research has been conducted on its qualitative and quantitative characteristics. The consequence of this lack of sufficient knowledge is that in today’s mosques, either the central courtyard is eliminated altogether or if it exists, it fails to create a favorable spatial quality. The present article aims to acquire a better knowledge of Sahn by studying it from various perspectives so as to determine its effectiveness on architecture and spatial quality. The field and library study methodology was used, and the collected data was obtained by analyzing the architecture of different mosques in Iran and by making comparisons with mosques in other countries. The results indicate that Sahn exert a fundamental influence in a mosque, and that eliminating or reducing its role in contemporary mosques has led to the deterioration of spatial quality.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n6s7p356

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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