“What If” Richard Meier’s Douglas House was in a dense urban environment?

asWhat If


LATE: Humanist Italy /Renaissance

      The idea of renaissance in Italy had a lot of influences of ancient Rome. The renaissance Italy inspired the priest in ancient Rome. They have adopted a brand new style based on symmetry, great proportions and classical columns. It features the use of classical motifs and the architectural orders such as columns styles of antiquity.

      In 15th century, Italy inspired by the poets and thinkers such as Dante,Boccaccio, Petrarch. So that humanism started to spread all around the Italy as well as the arts and architecture. The designers and architects of the Florence discovered a brand new principles of design instead of copying antiquity. They kept chasing after new harmonious proportions of classical orders. The architecture and most of the structures influenced by humanism. It gave them a more uniform scale and geometric basis. Rulers and also governors realized the importance of relation between architecture and urban planning to promoting notions of an ordered society.

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     Flippo Brunelleschi was an architect who is known with his new invention of unique Italian renaissance. He used Corinthian half columns. This shows that the architect is very familiar with the ancient monuments. He used both Gothic structural elements and Roman techniques. One of his great example of this is Dome of Florence. This huge dome became a symbol of not only Renaissance Florence but also of structural and engineering skills. When this dome built in 15th century, it was the largest one have been built in antiquity.

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     Renaissance style places and buildings mostly emphasizes the symmetry, proportion, geometry, regularity of parts as they re demonstrated in the architecture of classical antiquity and in particular ancient Roman architecture of which many examples have been remained. They inspired by the Romans’ architectural style such a by using orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels as well as the use of semicircular arches. Hemispherical domes and niches replaced the more complex proportional systems.

     Plans of the renaissance buildings in Italy mostly settled in a square and symmetrical appearance in which proportions are mostly based on module. Santa Maria del Fiore is one of the most significant example of this planning.  As can be seen in the Palladian  Villas, the facades of the renaissance architecture buildings were symmetric around their vertical axis.In columns and in pilasters, they mostly again used Roman orders of columns such as Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and etc. Domes were used frequently and was a vey large structural feature that is visible from the exterior.


Islamic Realms in Central Asia

After the ninth century, the traditions of religion of Persian culture portraits were created in various political contexts. Timur, who is the first champion and who increased the success of Khans, tried to establish a brand new capital city in Samarkand in a Persian style with the help of a Persian architect. At the end of the eigthteenth century, Shah Abbas, where the traditions of the Safavids took the majority of the Pers, began to make the capital Isfahan an enormous gardens town. Timur, who established the Indian sovereignty, was trying to use the outline and the language while trying to adjust the qualities of the Indian order.

The Persian Renaissance

They were supporting the monuments of Persian traditions which are lasted for a long time. As well as the  Norman kings in the medieval Sicily, these nomadic rulers relied on local craftsmans for their art and architecture. The Seljuks, strengthen  the tradiitons of local building with the new technique, included demands for more open air public spaces and more significant tomb monuments. Their courts which are iwan styled and large and huge domes, later provided a model for nomadic conquerors.Timur, started to build big cities,in Masonry buildings with the body parts of the victims which are killed. The ancient city of Samarkand became the model of capitals. Like Khans, he preferred to live in a portable dwelling in a park outside the city.

Catholic Europe

Although, Spain and France were the sovereign power in Europe, Italy were the one of the most significant place where architectural models came from. Protestants and the nation had a great fight between the divided Catholics. In Spain they were known as the most Catholic nation in the world. The northern Europe was protestant too. However, the southern Europe was catholic. As well as his father Charles 5, Philip 2 supported the sixteenth century’s Rome classical architectural style. His biggest and the greatest monument was monastery of San Lorenzo in Escorial.

Habsburg Spain

In an age of character with theatricality and decorative extremism, a very difficult opposition was offered. Phillip II, like his father, chose the classical style of Rome at the beginning of the sixteenth century and ordered the translation of the thesis of Sebastiano Serlio in Spanish. San Lorenzo monastery has developed the largest architectural project.

Ottoman Empire

      The main approach of the Ottoman Empire is to grab the Constantinople and the Islam culture to create an Islamic Roman Empire. In this period, the attitude of the Byzantine architecture and also art have diversified the Damascus, Kiev, Venice, and Cordoba. And then finally Fatih Sultan Mehmet have successfully conquered the Constantinople in 1453. Fatih Sultan Mehmet changed the name of Constantinople into İstanbul. And then for the different ethnic groups in İstanbul governed by the new new laws of owned by him. Also, in order to encourage the merchant activities, he constructed  Kapalı Çarşı as Seljuk has approached as well in Koza Han consisted of square bays capped with rounded. Fatih has inspired by the Italy’s technical and cultural innovations, especially the city walls of the new city. They constructed fortifications on the Bosporus to block the Christian naval support to Byzantine. These Yedikule fortifications were star shaped. He converted Hagia Sophia into the Palantine church, added minarets to make a royal church and also changed the main axis. And then on, he constructed Fatih Camii with the inspiration that he gathered from great Byzantine church. This new church was rival with the Hagia Sophia. Because the grand hemispherical dome that is less than few meters diameter than Hagia Sophia. The small cubes were supported by pointed arches of old granite columns on top of each bays of the courtrooms. Plus, he built a tube which is octagonal for himself and for mother of his heir. He demanded to add a brand new palace in the peninsula unlike the old palace in the center of the city. This new palace is called Topkapı Sarayı. It was like an antithesis of European palaces as asymmetrical and looking more like a garden rather than a building. The most significant parts of these palaces were divans and harems. Divan is mostly used for the official meetings of the government. It consisted of three domed spaces and L shaped.

Western Europe After the Roman Empire

The cities of western Roman Empire have suffered from a lot of conquests, plagues and financial problems from fifth century to the year of 1000. As a result of these issues, the population had been decreased day  by day so as well as the international trade had been declined too. Because of the feudal political system divided the whole society into three groups. The ones who fought, the ones who prayed and the one who were working as slaves.

As the years passed, the new feeling of cultural and economic acceptance promoted the journeys of pilgrims of Christianity. They had journeys from England, Germany and France to either Jerusalem, Rome, or Santlago de Compostela, Spain. The huge churches, hospitals, monasteries and castles built all over the Europe. This has began after the millennium represented an optimistic architectural expression of a progressive social order.

All along the period of Charlemagne, the Franks merged together the regions of France, Germany, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and Austria. Charlemagne’s short winded vision of Renovatio Romanae Imperii, the reawaking of the unity and greatness of Roman Empire of Constantine, affected fervent several decades of architectural patronage. Apart from various royal palaces built for his itinerant court, he promoted for the constuctio of many cathedrals and very huge number of monasteries, Similar to the rulers of outhwest Asia called Khamer, Charlemagne trusted on the support of the monastic settlements to promote the regime of him. With this way, he encouraged the religious orders, and by the eleventh century the network of Benedictine monasteries, developing under the authority of the Abbey of cluny. It played the deciding role in hole European politics.

Charlemagne’s palace and chapel was a key project for his most known efforts to reawake the Roman Empire. It is located in Aix la Chapelle and now it is know as Aachen.

On This Earth / Pre-Jury Reviews

For this semester, we have visited Tuz Gölü and then Göreme sites for our new project. In Tuz Gölü we have produced a lot of maps by analyzing certain qualities and according to our experiences. On the other hand, in Göreme we were expected to produce some sketches and diagrams again according to our experiences and this time we focused on the architectural elements and their usage. The reason of this work is that we were expected to graft certain features of Göreme onto Tuz Gölü.

According to my analysis from Tuz Gölü, I have realized that the visitors were tended to go through the Josephin which is the line that sky and the ground intersects. So that, people were tended reach that vast area. The other thing that I have realized is that in the evenings, people were directed towards to sun set. So, I took these two features as references for my design. I have tried to produce two main spaces that carries different vista conditions. To connect them, I created a bridge-like path. This bridge-like path was connecting the spaces that has two totally different vistas. And the sides of this path were not transparent because I wanted to create a dramatic transition between those two different vistas. It was only open from the top that again creates a different vista which is the sky. People who visits here were directed by the effects of these two references and they were tended to reach the vista. I tried to produce different kinds of openings and spaces while considering the experiences of humans. The sizes of these two main spaces were different than each other. The sizes were changing due to the vista conditions and human scale was affecting it.

As far as I have understood from the critiques of the jury members, the liked the scenario of my design. However, it was not working well how it should have been. They found some parts that were designed well. For instance, there were main two axes in my design that represents the Josephine and sun set directions. Because, the two axis were not working in a contrast way. They were not differentiated from each other. However, they should have been working in a contrast manner to differentiate the functions of those two main spaces. It was not that obvious that they were placed there for different functions. I think that it is caused by shape and angles of those shapes too. They were not representing the directions obviously. I could produce more obvious edges and angles. The other thing is that I could improve the definitions of the spaces. Because they commented that my designed was finished in that level so it was limiting me to improve it and add something more in it. I think they appreciated how I have used the extreme conditions of the spaces and the vistas. They have added that every decision should carry a reason behind of it such as proportions, shapes, scales and etc. Controlling the spaces in terms of the scenario and spatial conditions that I have created is significant and could be worked on that more.

For my drawings they commented that it would be way more better and help me more to put human figures in my drawings to understand the scale of my design.

After the critiques of the jury members, I have realized that some parts of my design should be worked again. I have decided to change the shape and the form of my two main spaces. I hope this time I can  apply my strategy into my design. Because while I was working I had some struggles while I was applying my ideas in a three dimensional design.

600-800 / Spread of Islam

The religion Islam which is developed aound the guidance of Prophet Muhammad, has began spread from Arabia to Southwest Asia, Persia and also to North Africa. The spread of Islam is related with the success of conquests and the racial movements. They produced multicolumned prayer places called mosques. The mosques provided new reliogous focus of cities. To add new vertial axis to the architecture to them, they built minarets where the muezzin prays and calls for the other believers. Against the irregularity of the plans, the Islam gave importance to the sense of order  in the radial orientation of religous places such as mosques, tombs and Mecca.

Mecca and Medina

These cities also known as the city of Muhammad and his followers. Even though the cities of Mecca and Medina had an  urban civilizations from the earlier ages, they tried to keep the cities as the part of the most migrant culture. All along around the seventh century Islam started to spread very immediately and they seperate the pagan cults by the force of military.

Mecca had been the center of attracting the believers to pilgrims to the Kaaba. The Kaaba is the building that is a cubical granite house and icludes an inexplicable black meteorite. After having various battles Muhammed conquered the Medina. And then he simplified the Kaaba from its representation of pagan culture. He believed that the angel Gabriel gave that sacred black stone to Abraham and then he built the original structure. The Muslims circumambulate  the Kaaba 7 times in pilgrims. So that, it is the focus point of the Muslims. So this focus point became a symbol of the unity of the faithful. Muhammad transformed his own house in Medina into the mosqued called “place of prostration”. He promoted the vernacular methods for mud bricks walls and palm-trunk roofs. A long portico was protecting the north side from the sun. Previously, he oriented the first prayer hall to Jerusalem which is known as the qibla. After the coquest of Mecca he redirected the qibla to the Kaaba. The believers added a second portico to thw south side of the Prophet Muhammad’s mosque. The mosque was a representation of small trader’s caravansary. As well as the Christians, the first believers of the Islam were against the form of pagan temples. They preferred the base their cult buildings on secular structures.The initial ones took the place of the foru and basiliicas of Roman age. The firts mosques were having a simple architectural settings such as they didnt have any apses, side chapels, ambulatories, cyrpts, baptisteries nor choirs.

İlgili resim

The Ummayad Period: Jerusalem and Damascus

The Umayyads settled in the Greco Roman city where they have a perfect urban culture inspired by the Byzantines. As well as the all migrat people, Arabs had lack of knowledge of masonry architecture. They inspired by the techniques from Persian, Roman and Byzantine cultures. The master of the first great Umayyad monumennt called Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, most probably hired an architect while designing it from Byzantine and mosaic artist from Constantinople. They created an elevated terrace directed to the center o Temple Mount. The new religion was against the representation and using  the human figures ad also glorification to the things. They were supporting the decorative inscriptions instead of narrative scenes with human figures. The arcade had two other characteristics which became common in Islamic architecture such as pointed arches and ablaq.

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