The Perception of Spatial Atmosphere in Traditional and Modern Mosques in Aesthetic Context

Spatial Atmosphere in Traditional/Modern Mosques


  • İlke Hiçsönmezler
  • Arzu Cılasun Kunduracı
  • Fatma İpek Ek



Architectural Aesthetic, Traditional Mosque, Modern Mosque, Phenomenology, Religious Architecture İn Turkey


The concept of aesthetic has been transformed and re-contextualized through the consecutive centuries to find a stable place in the discipline of architecture. We may claim that the stability has been generally provided by spaces having the power of affecting its experiencers emotionally by the help of sensory perception. The discipline of phenomenology set the theoretical scene for such experience quality in architectural spaces, which can be analyzed in historical, social, and religious contexts.

In this framework, the article aims to emphasize the significance of the relationship between the disciplines of aesthetics and architecture in Turkey through the aesthetic image of the spatial atmosphere via the evaluations of experiencers of the mosques in traditional and modern styles to comprehend the image of aesthetic experience. Methodologically, the analysis is based on an online questionnaire to understand the perceptual differences of the survey participants based on the image of aesthetic experience in these two different mosque styles. In conclusion, the Sancaklar and Selimiye Mosques show that, although the experiencers were open to the new concepts in contemporary mosque designs, their religious teachings with the traditionalist background generally prevent them adopting the Sancaklar Mosque. Thus, the majority of the survey participators preferred to visit and pray in the Selimiye Mosque as the masterpiece of the Ottoman style while the Sancaklar Mosque reflecting the modern approach was found insufficient to manifest the traditional Islamic language that the survey participators are accustomed to.