History of Architecture: 1500-750 BCE

This week we are examining the architectural history between 1500-750 BCE that brings us the Cretan people who are a peace-loving society, merged and has lack of fortification. In their cities, they don’t have much of a hierarchical dispute, therefore, their indirect circulation throughout the city results in the labyrinth-like organizations that function as an interrelated physical web, unlike any societal dwellings.These people have a large sympathy for the natural landscape of that area which protects them from outsiders and exemplifies an understanding of an integration into the land. They only have Fortified towers that protect the whole civilization which suggests some kind of organizing factors that gets rid of inland disputes. In their communities, there is a tight mesh of narrow streets that connect together in a complex urban textured manner. With this much densely packed area there’s also a technology that enables them to introduce an indoor plumbing system which is very sophisticated for its nature. Minoan Crete’s another distinct quality is the ceiling windows which was also unheard of.

Throughout centuries these monumental structures made by Minoans got destroyed several times caused by natural disasters despite that the fact that they perished the nature and its potential. After the eruption of a volcano, the city got very weakened and shortly after, got taken over by the Mycenaeans. They had a very militaristic approach to their society and their architects designed lithic, solid and hierarchical structures stemming from this approach which was very different from the nonhierarchical Minoans. Their houses lacked big openings and relationships with nature. A shift from pleasure towards dread occurred. This situation lasted for some time and also shifted towards the Hittites in now Turkey.

Now we move on to Ancient Egypt where the pyramids limited the spatial discoveries and complexities to develop for centuries. With the change of power with notably Hatshepsut, she transformed architecture into a new spatial organization that function to bolster her rule. With the emergence of advanced technologies, new temples and residential developments also transformed. Sequences from open spaces to closed spaces became evident in the use of gigantic columns and colossal statues. After the queen’s rule, with the rule of Akhenaten temples and buildings gained more light with the new idea of the sun religion-related with Ra. Consequently, Pharaohs that followed them became obsessed with their afterlife image and became god-like symbols. Their paintings and their monumental statues saturated the cities. In these times, the religion became more involved with the public and temples began to be located on both sides of the rivers and be connected by a “fastigium” that passes through a general axis that relates itself to the temples and the city.

History of Architecture: 3000-1500 BCE

In the start of the period of 3000-1500 BCE, cultures started gathering around the two rivers that give life to the Mesopotamia region.

In here there were very strong communal practices that yielded from religious beliefs. These religious views stem from the understanding of the heavens as a sacred place and their cities that need protection and sacred conditions from their gods. Therefore architectural designs mostly function as sacred spaces. They also served as food surplus and stock. They used baked clay to accomplish the step pyramid structures that are the abstraction of mountains.

In Egypt, there was a similar approach with the pyramids. Egyptian people were also obsessed with the idea of an afterlife that pushed them to achieve big monumental structures.

On the other hand, other civilizations produced their buildings in a more different approach which is rather motivated by functional properties of their daily lives in a communal society founded in the basic need for a human to dwell.

Introduction to SketchUp

This year there is a workshop prepared and given by instructors from our faculty every week. The true core of this project is to make us feel more familiar with computer programs that enable us to design and represent designs that would be not very convenient without using an online software. There are many programs attached to our agenda and in this week, we start with SketchUp: an intuitive way to create 3d models.

Before lecture started our instructor made several important arguments about the common understanding of computer programming and how it is useful to us. There is no proper “knowing” a software which many designers aim to achieve. You can never fully “know” a program. Even the people who created that code that allow this program to work do not fully make use of the programs full capabilities. We should instead strive to know enough about the software that gets the job done. If you solve your problems using this you know this software. Simple as that. And also we are in the age of endless knowledge that is so very easily accessible to everyone, anytime that learning what you aim to solve should be the ultimate goal knowingly.

Our other instructor showed how to first grasp the overall basic structure of SketchUp and how to get accustomed to it. We learned how to draw, push to get 3d objects, move surfaces and how to multiply several elements. We saw how to work in several components, edit groups simultaneously and offset geometrical elements to get various results.

The endless possibilities of this technology also allows us to create quick render-like images that allow the main idea to come through in an organized and realistic manner using help from Photoshop.

I am very excited to start using SketchUp more and produce models that will have a gigantic effect on my designing process.

Detail and Section Drawing of Kolejin

Hello, to start our journey into the second year studio studies, we went on a field trip to Kolejin (a multi-functional recreational center) in order to experience and be aware of the human proportions in relation to the design principles and the strategic function of the building. We had one hour to examine the space around us and try to grasp the potential of spaces reference to the human scale. Also up till now, we had never taken measurements directly from a real-world example that we can comprehend by our own experiences. This was a very interesting step for me because for the first time I got to imagine what it would be like to design something in the language of measures and in return get a tangible functional solution that we as a society can comprehend directly.

In order to get the special qualities of this place, we choose relatively small parts which contain complex materials working together to form an interrelated composition and also have details that would be not studied in a farther away approach to the design.

As the part of the assignment, we were assigned a unique part if the building to be conceived and make a 1/50 section drawing which further acts as a catalyst in the process of understanding the bond between human scale and architectural designs that we use every day.

In our group of four, when we are taking measurements, we quickly realized that the best way was to make a sketch of the to-be-made section drawing which in turn will provide the essential base for the measurements. The section drawing is down below. I truly believe that this work helped me become more aware of my surroundings and freshen up my cognitive and drawing skills.

History of Architecture : Prehistory

In order to start the Arch221 course, our instructor had the first lecture on prehistory part of the history of architecture. We also had a complimentary reading portion that is parallel to the lecture and which can strengthen our understanding of the instinctual mindset that came into building architectural structures.

This goes far back as the Prehistoric times when humans first dwelled in caves and later formed their own version of a cave-like hut that consisted of branches and leaves. This later evolved into spiritual spaces and became a large part of the social rituals that exemplify nature and its animals. We started to see communities form that lives so close to each other in settlements without any roads. This is the result of new technologies that allow structures to be more stable and buildable.

Prism in Photography resulting in interesting visuals


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This month I choose a theme for a post on thevoidmag.com (a student based architecture and design magazine functioning in TEDU) to be about architectural photography. The subject was to experiment with photographing buildings in the lens of a crystal of some sort. This prism allowed me to discover and experience these buildings in a new environment like an alternative universe where the images coming to our eyes are multiplied in various different parts to sometimes overlap and relate themselves accordingly. This technique creates also different angles of information to be seen in the same medium. It is very close to a collage work where you can visualize something which was nonexistent before and helps with the understanding of the building in a new way.

I started with the photography trip in Kızılay, Ankara which is a very vibrant part of the city which was first designed with the first urban planning projects for the neighborhood. There are many old and new buildings which had a serious impact on the history of Ankara. Many buildings stand as they are for a very long time serving various functions and this new method of documentation/discovery brought forth relations that showed still parts of the building relating. A new form.