the incomplete compositions of el muqarnas were very mysterious to me, scar some as a friend once told me, whether i was seeing them as a decaying of living thing, a differentiation of a matter, that i wanted to touch and imagine the inverse of these complicated-forms, first when i saw them i couldn’t analyze, then i understood them logic, the maximal symmetry, the depth of the concave compositions and the texture. i wanted to understand and explore this architectural feature and see what i could do of this understanding.
this post traces the design process and the final output: the ceiling installation.
as a start of design process, i needed to understand the 3D form of muqarnas units and how does each unit attached to another; the inner relation, the system rules. i followed eric broug’s video and followed it with some research to made those mock-ups to understand muqarnas different compositions and the relation between muqarnas plan and 3D.
the main different types of muqarnas are: 1. the star plan muqarnas; on the left side that was used in column heads and domes. 2. the repeated linear plan; on the right side that was used in the building facade and furniture pieces.
i chose the linear plan of 45 degree triangle as showed in the photo above, the idea was to make a contemporary muqarnas composition; a structure system, started from traditional muqarnas compositions to trusses structure system through carpentry and wood joining techniques.
design the cross-section: the structure wooden members, took many steps to be an identical repetitive shape that forms a octagon star when the 8 parts come together.
the photo above shows how the member width was determined in side view and the relation between each row.
forming the composition of a repetitive unit in 3D by solving the 2D plan and the 2D side-view to determine the 3D.
now we have an identical repetitive unit that could multiply and make a variable and infinite compositions of its copies.
the frame muqarnas repetitive unit enabled seeing different pattern in the big compositions when the camera position is changed, because of the overlaying of the muqarnas unit layers in the three dimensions.
the design process was finished, and i had to start execution i asked a carpenter to route beech wood to get the octagon star quarter. then i resumed the execution process: miter cutting, coding, grooving, painting the wood with oil, drilling, and finally joining.
3 dimensional decaying was the graduation project of abdallah ragab in PSTA; the princess school of traditional arts, cairo programme.