Islamic architecture in Xinjiang(4)

Source: Global Times [08:54 July 29 2009]

Sugong Tower, Turpan
Formally named the Omer Hoja Tower of Gratitude, the Sugong Tower is located four km southeast of Turpan. Sulayman, the second prefectural prince of Turpan, built the tower in 1778, a year after the death of his father, Eminhoja.

During the reigns of Qing Dynasty emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong, Eminhoja aided the imperial army in suppressing rebellions in Zhunger and other areas. In return, the court bestowed the title of duke, and later, prefectural prince, upon him, and Emperor Qianlong decreed that the title be made hereditary. Sulayman built the tower to commemorate his father and express gratitude to the Qing court.

The tower and the mosque next to it, which has capacity for 1,000 worshipers, are built with sand-colored bricks, presenting a golden appearance that harmonizes with the natural environment. The structure departs from the traditional symmetry of Islamic design, with its minaret on one side, yet still maintains a balanced look.

Xinjiang Qur'an School, Urumqi  
The school was constructed in 1998 with central government grants. It is located at the intersection of Nanhu St. and Suzhou Rd. in Urumqi.

The front of the main building is covered with dark blue glass windows in a design that is revolutionary in Islamic architecture.

The side building is essentially a simple rectangle, but with four protruding corners that add a sense of liveliness. The ornamentation seen at the top of the entrance arch is another unusual feature.

The design of the school is an example of how modern trends are integrated with the Islamic tradition in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang Islam Academy, Urumqi  

Situated on Yan'an St. in Urumqi, the academy was built in 1987, jointly funded by the World Islamic Development Bank and the central government. The main building exhibits a rich Islamic style, but the design is also practical and the construction accomplished with new materials. It is a successful marriage of contemporary architectural techniques with traditional Uygur and Islamic characters.