Reading the Effective Factors of Spatial Atmosphere of Contemporary Mosques, Based on Grounded Theory Approach

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D Candidate, Department of Architecture, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: Despite the many definitions of the mosque that have been offered in academic places so far, Undoubtedly, the definition of a mosque would not be complete without considering its audiences. Because one of the main functions of mosques is to create a platform for spiritual communication between man and God. This connection from the most primitive type of mosque to modern mosques has been an integral part of the function of mosques. Therefore, the audience and his perception are very important in this sacred space. The original experiences that take place in man-made spaces are experiences that have been influenced by a number of factors. Experiences that architects and phenomenologists call “the atmosphere”. This research seeks to identify the factors affecting the audience’s perception of the atmosphere of mosques.
Questions and research objectives: The purpose of this study is to “identify the factors affecting the audience’s perception of the atmosphere of mosques” And it tries to answer the question of what factors can be effective in conveying the spatial atmosphere of a mosque.
Research method: This research has been done qualitatively. In terms of the nature of the data, is Textual, semantic and unstructured. It is inductive thinking in terms of logic and interpretive in terms of the level of analysis. Strategy of this research is grounded theory and analyzes has been done by systematic coding of Strauss and Corbin with the help of MaxQDA software.
Conclusion: Findings of the research show that in the audience’s perception of the atmosphere of the mosque space Architect can plan such as minimizing the conflict of the audience or the correct use of symbols and signs and benefiting from religious texts he or she can be involved to some extent (and not definitively) in shaping the spatial atmosphere of the mosque. Factors such as the audience’s emotional experiences when confronted with space, Ruling currents of thought, Historical events and geographical conditions, there are issues beyond the control of the designer in shaping the atmosphere of the mosques. Therefore, the factors affecting the transmission of the atmosphere of a mosque are in controllable parts and in uncontrollable parts. As a result, it can never be claimed that architecture alone can be an influential factor in conveying the atmosphere of a mosque.


Akbarzadeh, M. (2014). Me’mari alayhe Khoda: Ta’ammoli dar Manzar-e Edraki-ye Masjed-e Mobtani bar Rezayat-e Khoda [Architecture against God: Reflections on the Perceptual Perspective of the Mosque Based on God’s Satisfaction]. Hamshahri Me’mari, (25), 138-142.
Bohme, G. (2001). Aisthetik. Vorlesungen über Ästhetik als allgemeine Wahrnehmungslehre [Aisthetik. Lectures on Aesthetics as a Common Theory of Perception]. München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag.
Bohme, G. (2017). Atmospheric Architectures: The Aesthetics of Felt Spaces. New York: Bloomsbury academic.
Creswell, J. W. (Ed.) (2012). Grounded Theory Design Educational Research-Planning, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Boston: Pearson Education.
Daneshpour, S. A. & Charkhchian, M. (2007). Public spaces and factors affecting collective life. Bagh-e Nazar. 4(7), 19-28.
Danielsson, C. B. (2011). Experiencing architecture - exploring the soul of the eye. In ARCC 2011 Research Conference (pp. 95-102). Detroit: Lawrence Technological University.
Dehnavi, M. (2016). Philosophy of Worship. Retrived from
Farasatkhah, M. (2019). Research Method in Social Sciences with Emphasis on “GTM” Theory. Tehran: Agah Publishing.
Fish, W. (2017). Philosophy of Perception: A Contemporary Introduction (Y. Pour’esma’il, Trans.). Tehran: Hekmat.
Hoomani Rad, M. & Tahbaz, M. (2014). Assessment of daylight role in creating spiritual mood in contemporary mosques. ARMANSHAHR, 7(1), 11-23.
Imantalab, H. & Gerami, S. (2012). The proportion of meaning and form; the accordance of mosque architecture and prayer. Islamic Art, 8(16), 77-88.
Mahdavinezhad, M. R., Mashayekhi, M. & Bahrami, M. (2015). Mosque Design Patterns in Contemporary Architecture. Researches in Islamic Architecture, 2(4), 2-19.
Mahdinezhad, J., Azemati, H. & Sadeghi Habibabad, A. (2019b). Ranking of spiritual tranquility indicators in traditional mosque architecture based on perception of “sense of spirituality” using “VIKOR” method. Ontological Research, 7(2), 82-59.
Mahdinezhad, J. & Azemati, H. & Sadeghi Habibabad, A. (2019a). Strategic explanation of the components of spirituality in Iranian mosques architecture. National Studies, 20(78), 78-94.
Mahdlikova, E. (2015). [In search of new body experiences through space]. (P. Mehrdad, Trans.). Ettela’at-e Hekmat va Ma’refat [Information of Wisdom and Knowledge], 10(6), 36-42.
Raeisi, M. M. & Noghrekar, A. (2015). Geometric-spatial evaluation of Tehran contemporary mosques by using thematic analysis of religious texts. Researches in Islamic Architecture, 1(4), 30-46.
Mahdlikova, E. (2015). Dar josojou-ye tajrobiyat-e jadid-e badan bevasete-ye faza [In search of new body experiences through space]. (M. Parsa, Trans.). Ettela’at-e Hekmat va Ma’refat, 10(6), 36-42.
Mount, H. & Cavet, J. (1995). Multi-Sensory environments: an exploration of their potential for young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties. British Journal of Special Education, 22(2), 52-55.
Naghizadeh, M. (2006). Islamic Urban Design and Architecture. Tehran: Rahiyan.
Negintaji, S., Ansari, M. & Pourmand H. A. (2018). Explanation of the relationship between human and place in architecture design process by a phenomenological approach. Honar-Ha-Ye Ziba - Memari va Shahrsazi, 9(72), 71-80.
Nobahar, R. (1997). Me’mari-ye masjed az didgah-e motoun-e dini [Mosque architecture from religion texts point of view]. In Majmou’e-Maghalat-e Avvalin Hamayesh-e Me’mari-ye Masjed: Gozashte, Hal va Ayande [Proceedings of the First Conference on Mosque Architecture: Past, Present, Future] (vol.2, pp.242-286). Tehran: Tehran University of Art.
Noghrekar, A. (2015). Critical analysis of mosque design case study: Vali’asr Mosque in adjacent to city Theater of Tehran. Researches in Islamic Architecture, 1(2), 23-39.
Noghrekar, A. (2018). Panj Resale dar Hekmat-e Honar, Me’mari va Shahrsazi-ye Eslami [Five Treatises on the Wisdom of Islamic Art, Architecture and Urban Planning]. Qazvin: Jahad-e Daneshgahi.
Norouz Borazjani, V. (2018). Raveshshenasi-ye Pazhouhesh-e Keyfi [Qualitative Research Methodology]. Tehran: Yadavaran.
Pallasmaa, J. (2009). The Eyes of Skin (R. Ghods, Trans.). Tehran: Parham Naghsh.
Pallasmaa, J. (2013). Building Atmosphere. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers.
Pallasmaa, J. (2016). The sixth sense: the meaning of atmosphere and mood, Architectural Design, 86(6), 126-133.
Pérez-Gómez, A. (2018). Ta’ammolat-e Behengam [Timely Meditations] (R. Asgari, N. Javaherian & B. Behpour, Trans.). Tehran: Memar Nashr
Schmitz, H. (1969). System der Philosophie. Bd. III.2 Der Gefühlsraum. Bonn: Bouvier.
Shahidi, Sh. & Farajnia, S. (2012). The design and validation of spiritual outlook measurement questionnaire. Ravanshenasi Va Din [Psychology and Religion], 5(3), 97-115.
Soleimani, M. (1999). Enteza’negari dar Masajed-e Iran [Abstractism in Iranian Mosques]. In Majmou’e-Maghalat-e Hamayesh-e Me’mari-ye Masjed: Gozashte, Hal va Ayande [Proceedings of the Conference on Mosque Architecture: Past, Present and Future] (vol. 1, PP. 74-81). Tehran: Tehran University of Art.
Tarbiatjoo, A., Islami, Gh., Habib, F., Kakaei, Gh. (2013). Epistemplogical approach to understanding the sacred space and its application in design (Ph.D. dissertation). Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
Tarbiatjoo, A. & Islami, Gh. (2018). The dialogue between human and sacred places: an inquiry on the role of user in understanding sacredness of places. Hoviatshahr, 12(35), 65-74.
Van Manen, M. (1977). Linking ways of knowing with ways of being practical. Curriculum Inquiry, (6), 205-228.
Zumthor, Peter. (2014). Thinking Architecture (A. Shalviri, Trans.). Tehran: Herfe-ye Honarmand.
Zumthor, Peter. (2016). Atmosphere (A. Akbari, Trans.). Tehran: Parham Naghsh.