TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT January 1992

THE GREAT MOSQUE OF IBN TULUN, AL QATAI: A PROJECT FOR ARTFORUM

The Great Mosque of Ibn Tulun, al Qatai
Architect: Hassan Ibn Mubarak al Sarmani
Circa 880 A.D.

The primary function of architecture is to provide a specific site for social activity through the particular disposition of certain physical elements.

The arrangement of these elements reflects the arrangement of power and ambition in the society that puts them into place.

The form a building takes is a crystal; a moment made solid.

However, the significances of architectural structures are not static facts. They are a perpetual flux of accumulating and dispersing values constantly shifting in response to the flow of events.

The ancient past reaches into the present through buildings. Ideas are recalled and codes reiterated. Achievements are remembered, and causes retained.

The original building persists, collapsing time. A public memory endlessly transposed. The electronic minaret and a molded plastic dome on the house of Muhammad.

Langlands & Bell 1991
A Project for Artforum