The Radiance of Gold

Posted by CARROR PUTTI Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Mosque’s awesome exterior is complimented by an equally impressive interior design. Mosque’s interior walls have been decorated with gold-glass mosaic features
The prayer halls are adorn by Italian white marble and floral designs. The main glass door of the Mosque is 12.2 meters high, 7 meters wide and weighs approximately 2.2 tonnes
The main prayer hall features the world’s largest chandelier under the main dome – being 10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing over nine tonnes. The Mosque’s seven gold-colored chandeliers, from Germany, feature thousands of Swarovski crystals from Austria and some glasswork from Italy, and cost about US$8.2 million (AED 30 million).

The main prayer hall can fit in around 7,126 worshippers and also features the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. Designed by Iranian artist, Ali Khaliqi, the carpet was hand-crafted by 1,200 artisans in small villages near Mashhadin in Iran, a region renowned for its carpet making expertise. The artisans were flown to Abu Dhabi to stitch the carpet pieces together for the final fitting. Consisting of 2,268,000 knots, the Mosque’s carpet is estimated to be valued at US$8.2 million (AED 30 million).

The Qibla wall (facing the direction of the Holy City of Mecca) is 23 metres high and 50 metres wide, and is subtly decorated so as not to distract worshippers from prayer. Gold-glass mosaic has been used in the Mehrab (the niche found in the middle of the Qibla wall).

The 99 names (qualities) of Allah featured on the Qibla wall exemplify traditional Kufi calligraphy, designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher - Mohammed Mandi. The Qibla wall also features subtle fibre-optic lighting, which is integrated as part of the organic design.

In total, three separate calligraphy styles - Naskhi, Thuloth and Kufi – are used throughout the mosque and were drafted by Mohammed Mendi (UAE), Farouk Haddad (Syria) and Mohammed Allam (Jordan).

The Mosque has 80 Iznik panels - highly decorated ceramic tiles popular in the 16th century - which feature distinctly in Istanbul’s imperial and religious buildings. Traditionally hand-crafted, each tile was designed by Turkish calligrapher Othman Agha.

28 different types of marble have been used throughout the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, and include:-

Sivec from Greece & Macedonia, used on the external cladding (a total of 115,119 square metres of cladding has been used on the Mosque, including the four minarets)
Lasa from Italy, used in the internal elevations
Makrana from India, used in the annexes and offices
Aquabiana and Biano from Italy
East White and Ming Green from China




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