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Architecture Style

Istiqlal Mosque is one of many iconic building for Muslims in Indonesia. As the biggest
mosque in Indonesia, Istiqlal was built to accommodate people in huge number. The
architecture used minimalist principles, with tropical climate as consideration. It
designed so the air could circulate freely. Therefore, it feels cool inside the mosque,
though use no air conditioner. Salat room, as the main space of the mosque, was
placed between the plazas with columns which made wide apertures in between. The
aims of that are for making the air circulating easier and giving natural light inside the

The architecture was adopting modern Arabian style, with geometrical shapes like
rectangle, square, sphere dome in giant sizes. It was intended for making Istiqlal looked
huge and monumental. Those things are strengthened by the selection of the materials
which used to build this building. Marble and stainless steel which have perfectly solid,
yet minimalist image was chosen both for main material and details for the building.

Stainless steel is widely used for details and ornaments Istiqlal. The ornaments of
Istiqlal are simple yet elegant. It was made from block ventilation which made from
stainless steel and arranged geometrically. The ornaments not only used as the
partitions, windows, and ventilation but also gave aesthetic impression for the mosque.
The railings in each floor and stair’s railings are made from stainless steel. It also used
to overlay the ceiling and inside part of the dome. The twelve main pillars coated by the
stainless steel plaque too. Furthermore, marble is dominating the strong construction of
Istiqlal Mosque. It used to build the twelve main pillars which coated by stainless steel
and the walls around the building. Marble is also material for the elegant floor and stairs
in istiqlal.

The architecture of Istiqlal Mosque shows unique approaching with some cultures in
harmony composition. It was built in modern Arabian style, it showed from istiqlal’s
dome and the symmetrical facade strengthen it style. It also gives European image with
the strong shapes of the walls and pillars. The block ventilations and wide apertures
which made the mosque have good air circulation and get enough natural light are the
reflection how this building designed with tropical climate architecture aspects.
Architecture Symbol and Implication
Like many other building, Frederich Silaban as the Architect designed Istiqlal with
symbols and implications behind its every detail. The seven doors which leading us to
inside istiqlal was named based Asmaul Husna, the high names of Allah. Those are Al
Fattah, As Salam, Ar Rozzaq, Al Quddus, Al Malik, Al Ghaffar, dan Ar Rahman. It is
also the symbol of seven layers of clouds. The main building is crowned by a glorious
dome which has 45 m in diameter. The “45” means the proclamation of Republic
Indonesia. The top of the dome is also crowned by the crescent moon and star which
made from stainless steel.
The main dome is supported by twelve main pillar which arranged circular in the edge of
the dome and surrounded by four balcony. “Twelve” is the symbol of Prophet
Muhammad birth date, twelve rabiul awwal. Four level of balcony and a main floor are
the symbol of Five Pillars of Islam. It is also the symbol of Pancasila as the Indonesia’s
philosophy of life.
Istiqlal’s symmetrical architecture design of the interior is clean, simple and minimalist. It
has implication that in its simplicity contains of beauty. On the main wall which face
qibla There are calligraphy “Allah” in the right and Muhammad in the left side. In the
middle of the wall, there’s calligrapy of surah At-Thaha verse 14. All of those calligraphy
was made from stainless steel.
Interesting thing we could found in istiqlal is, when mosque architecture in Arab, Persia,
Turkey and India has many towers, istiqlal only has one as the symbol of The Oneness
of Allah. The tower was coated by marble, 6.666 cm in height. It is the symbol of 6.666
verses in Al –Qur’an. The framework which used as the tower’s ornament was made
from steel which has 30 m in height. It’s the symbol of 30 Juz in Al- Qur’an.
We all know that mosque always face the Mecca, as the qibla. As the biggest mosque
in Republic of Indonesia, while the mosque faces qibla, the main corridor of Istiqlal was
designed to face National Monument or Monas. It implies that Istiqlal Mosque is the
National Mosque of Republic Indonesia.

Reza. 2015. Keistimewaan Masjid Istiqlal Yang Tak Dipunyai Masjid Lain.
tamat.html (accesed on October 4th 2016)
Veny. 2014. Simbol dan Makna Dibalik Masjid Istiqal.
(accesed on October 4th 2016)
Wikipedia. 2016. Mesjid Istiqlal. (accesed on
October 4th 2016)
Location and Neighborhood
Istiqlal mosque is located in the heart of capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, at Taman
Wijaya Kusuma Street. This mosque was built in the area which used to be old ruins of
Netherlands fort in Wijayakusuma (Wilhelmina) park.
Istiqlal Mosque is surounded by grand open space and parks. There are about 23
location of parks which named by the trees and plants which planted there. The parks
surrounded makes Istiqlal Mosque area looked beautiful and shady. Trees and plants
are also used as barriers which reducing noisy from the streets, so people who praying
inside the mosque will not be bother with the noises. There is also a beautiful water
fountain in the South side of the mosque. The parks and open space also have role as
public open space which could reduce the pollution surrounded the Mosque itself.
There are five entrance gates to Istiqlal Mosque, some of them are connected to the
mosque by bridges which crossed Ciliwung River and surrounded by parking lot in the
right and left side which could accommodate about 800 of vehicles. The gates located in
three different locations in the Istiqlal Mosque area. The North gate faces sluice and
Veteran Street, East gate faces Katederal Church and Katederal Street, and in the
South-East gate faces Perwira Street and Pertamina Head Office. However, the gates
aren’t opened all the time. All of the gates only will be opened in special Muslim
occasions, like Ied Mubarak, and formal occasions. The gate which is opened in daily
time is the East Gate, which face Katederal Street and Katederal Church.

Sejati, Indera Kusuma. 2016. Menyusuri Pesona Keindahan Mesjid Istiqlal Jakarta. (accesed on October
5th 2016)