The Mosques of Djerba Les Mosquées de Djerba
drawings by architectural students of The Catholic University of America
This is a more compact French and English version of the large format and English version of the book The Mosques of Tunisia by Stanley Ira Hallet.
In 1989, a group of architectural students from The Catholic University of America were joined by three students from the Institut Technologique d'Art, d'Architecture et d'Urbanism de Tunis and under the direction of Professor Stanley Ira Hallet traveled to the Island of Djerba in Southern Tunisia. There, with the valuable assistance of Professor Ali Djerbi, they spent one week documenting the extraordinary white mosques that dot the island, thought to be the mysterious island of the lotus-eaters in the tales of the Odyssey.
During the fieldwork that ensued, they selected four mosques to draw up. The hand drawings document these intimate structures where the profane, the poetic and the sacred exist side by side. These neighborhood mosques sit in the middle of carefully irrigated gardens and orchards with their minarets reaching up and over the surrounding palm trees. Constructed of humble materials, the monolithic forms of the mosques melt to form a single undulating surface that contains the traditional prayer spaces, the service and storage spaces and the raised platforms or socles that define the sacred space.
The student's architectural drawings are poetic as well as descriptive. There are also photos of the students at work as well as the mosques taken in 1989 and 2008.
Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, Studio Head Paris, France, Former Dean of the School, Former Fulbright to the University of Kabul, Former Peace Corps Volunteer, Tunisia, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
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