Invisible Cities #thevoidmag 2.0


Thoughts on Style: Hendrik Berlage


In our Arch 222 course, we were assigned to make groups of 2 or 3 in order to create a presentation for a certain topic related to our class. But the interesting structure of the class was that other than our instructor giving us a lesson and making the interaction one way, we are the ones researching and analyzing the topic beforehand. Our presentations are designed to be more analytical in their sense that we are expected to venture out from the topic and explore what are the referencing points and related thinking structures that influence the ideas that are expressed in that certain topic of discussion.

The class communicates through an online platform and after the presentations are uploaded, all the other participants read the piece of text that starts the line of thought and after that evaluate the presentation at hand. Therefore, both the presentation and the audience is immersed in this topic and reach a level of understanding that creates a ground for an intellectual discussion in class.

By doing this, the class can be used to be concentrated in questions regarding how those people who are instrumental in the emergence of the modern architectural theory thought these ideas and how they relate and influence each other in their time. The knowledge of the instructor is reserved for the guidance of the topic in the right direction.

People who mostly come from a more traditional background of education cannot comprehend the role of the instructor in architectural education. Because architects are designers who design spaces, they are also frontrunners in the modernization of the education of future generations. The studio and these lessons are designed in a way that creates individuals who are great critical thinkers by making the lessons interactive in their sense that through creation, participation and discussion relate the class to the level of interaction from the students. Without the participation of the students, the studio would not operate well but students who are not used to this contemporary way of learning may have difficulties adapting. Therefore we should remember that our instructors are not teachers.

To come to our presentation topic regarding the text that was published in 1905, by Hendrik Berlage, called “Thoughts on Style” he was very influenced about the Sachlichkeit way;


Also you can reach the complete presentation containing his influences, how his mind structure emerged, changed and affected future thoughts in the link below;

Arch222 Hendrick Berlage from thoughts on style

Case study & Sketch Problem

In order to start with our house in reference project,

We were firstly assigned a design problem of producing a case study of 10 examples of domestic architecture in varying scales. After the detailed analysis of the designs by producing diagrammatic scaled plan and section drawings, the concept of referencing in architecture was introduced. I designed some kind of a hybrid design that collects the problem solving solutions that are in some houses in varying degrees of referencing. After that we were given the challenge of adding a quote to our designs in the form of a sketch problem. We deliberated on the topic and this was the result.

The volumes are inserted to a tilted surface referencing the Fukuta House and the formation of a directional path is encouraged referencing the Tolo house which features a series of modules connected to form a house a as a path on a inclined way. This house also have two alternative ways of circulation inside of it. I draw my reference again to produce a circulation pattern that have two ways to circulate. One is through a main circulatory staircase volume quoted directly from the Fukuta house. And the other is going inside the volumes being parallel to the inclined surface similar to the inclined interior way of motion in the Tolo house. This allows a layered condition of levels of privacy. The higher layers are much more isolated in the sense that it is harder to reach that level while also strictly integrating with the lower volumes of the diachronic pattern of sequential transposition experience. Therefore the lower spaces are much more commonly used for inevitable by most of its users concerning the position of circulation direction. Also the lower spaces have a more fluid semi-open relationship with the outside when compared to the more private upper spaces.

Also, this design approach was assigned not to have any concern about the site in this stage. Therefore in order to play and emphasize this condition, i disturb my design by making a collage that increases the floating in space aspect 🙂

Mama Gusto Drawing

To start of the semester, we were assigned to work on the technical and analytical part of our design processes therefore made to get the sense of a real life designed space that we can actually get in! The assignment espected us to first create a visual that would be usefull in understanding the proportions of that design.Image result for mama gusto

We later learned the techniques of taking a proper survey of a building and then expected to implement that process to our sketch. We were in groups of 6 people therefore took the measurements together and recorded them on our sketches but the production of the AutoCad digital scaled drawing was individual.

I experienced that in a real life scaled design, the theoretical design is never the same as the actual result. If the structure is made by hands, there can always be distortions on references and no angle can be truly 90 degrees. Therefore, the measurements should not be taken thinking the assumption that the lines are parallel and somewhere is the angle that it seems. Since there is no way that we can calculate the proper angle on site, we use a technique which our instructors call the “triangulation”. After the determination of two exact points, we than measure the distance of another point that we want to pinpoint and the other two points. Then we use circles that has the center points on those known points and highlight the point that the circles intersect. In this way, the third point is determined without ever knowing the angle of it.

But as you noticed we need a starting point to help us produce this map of points. Therefore firstly the 0 line is determined using pipes that have a constant water amount in it to help us carry a given 0 point to other sides of the building. After that we record the measurements. And produce it in autocad.


Ersan_ilktan_MamaGusto_Front_Elevation_13 (1)-Model plot

The Villa of Mysteries is located little away from the city walls of the Ancient City of Pompeii and was built around the beginning of second century B. C. It involves at least 60 rooms and is around 40,000 square feet in area. This example of a Roman villa is one of the most prominent cases of it in terms of its scale and the extraordinary decorations that it contains.1 There is a mix of spaces that act as dining and entertaining areas and also different spaces for the production of resources such as wine. The materials that were used in the construction was similar to the typical Roman Villas and was consisting of mostly stone and bricks(pilae). As mentioned in the website of the Bradford on Avon Museum in Wiltshire, “The bathhouse of the Roman Villa, built with coursed limestone blocks that have been trimmed all round except at the back”, describes the variety of building elements that were available by the large trade routes that enable different materials to circulate. The Murals on the walls were mostly constructed using plaster because it had a quick drying time and shaping it was rather easy. The bath spaces and the dining spaces were covered with these relics. In the villa, the design of the function patterns of the rooms shares a striking similarity with another roman domestic building which is the Domus. A similar use of the names of the rooms translates also into the villa medium from the Domus like the term Triclinium which is being used to mean the room where three couches are used for the act of dining in social gatherings. This space, in particular, reference to the Villa of Mysteries, has a shifting relationship with the exterior spaces. The big openings offer a direct relationship with the outside garden (Viridarium) and the distant sea view and make space have an open and permeable state of transparency. But during the nighttime, these big openings are covered with opaque wooden elements to fully isolate the space and make the Triclinium have a private, more well-defined quality to it. The light condition is now shifted from having a relationship with a naturally lit open space with having a mutualistic way through the transfer of light and visuality, to the self-lit isolated condition of having the sources of light inside this dining space. The private condition is the result of a lack of light in terms of the exterior spaces which evidently weaken the relationship of it with the interior causing this space react by exemplifying this condition. The function of the villa is the fact that the social dining is a very big part of the way Romans live in those times. Therefore the rhythmic rituality that governs the circulation path is inverted compared with the Roman Domus.2 The way of circulation through the Villa is now Vestibulum (the entrance) than the big Peristylium (the colonnaded garden), the Atrium (the transitional hall) and then the Triclinium. This shows the axiality factor of the villa governed by this ritualistic approach to the social dining. This is also reflected on to the wall paintings that are on the walls, that do not have openings, of the Triclinium. These paintings depict life-sized human figures that dance and dwell in an illusion of architecture. The Murals are a representation of the function of that space and are a projection of the life in that space.

In the case study of the Villa of Mysteries, the occurrence of the wall paintings that show a three dimensional organic experience that is projected onto a two dimensional surface to imitate that experience in a visual manner, inspired me to mention the architectural concept of designing a perspective experience that is accomplished by the perception of a two dimensional visual as a three dimensional visual present in space. This application is commonly used to give the visual experience without producing the actual architecture. The result is a static representation of what is real and reflects the ideology behind it. The relationship between form and function is that the form solely stands for the visual experience of the viewer and therefore decorative. The experience is captured onto a surface and its only focus is the observer. The spaces are formed as relating visually to the actual space. The three-dimensional qualities that govern a space or an object are now frozen in time and projected in a decrease in information.

A relating example of this concept can be the Trompe L`Oeil`s in the Michelangelo Sistine Chapel`s ceiling designs. These paintings are distorted according to giving the impression of three-dimensional arches and columns along with the addition of human-like figures. Some of the surfaces of the ceiling has curved surfaces in a result of the construction techniques present in that times and this three-dimensional quality is being eliminated by the distortion of the figures to fit the perspective of the observer. In this case, the experience of these fake visuals distorts the experience of a spatiality architecturally. What is different in the Michelangelo Sistine Chapel compared to the Villa of mysteries is that the projected surface is also three dimensional resulting in the change of experience as one moves inside the space. But the visual experience is optimized in only in one position. The condition is the same projection method in this context but the visual is now more fluid in the sense that the canvas is also three dimensional. The focus is directly on the viewer and their experience of it. In the Chapel, this is used to promote a spiritual notion that comes from sensing an extraordinary situation. The condition of losing the usual information that helps us to recognize a curved surface is now altered to give the sense of another form while still containing its real structure. Shifting from an everyday life to give a different sense of space is being used in all sorts of religious buildings all throughout history.

A contemporary example in relation to this concept can be the works of Felice Varini, a contemporary artist that projects abstract shapes onto architectural spaces. In his paintings, the canvas is not flat and consist of a space which a person can move and experience in an infinite number of ways. The variations are depicted to the various positions a viewer can take inside the installation and therefore the experience is fluid. In this case, there is a contrast with my concept and the projecting element is flat while the projection is applied to a three-dimensional space. The different kinds of light conditions and perspectives change the visual and in only in one position the visual becomes two dimensional while still coming from a three-dimensional surface. I think giving this contemporary example is important because it is the same ideology of visually projecting onto something but very different in terms of function. While in the ancient example the aim is to have a decorative sense of space that tries to elevate a two-dimensional surface, in the modern example, the aim is to fragment the flat shape that has only two dimensions and create a dynamic immersive look to it in terms of spatial organization.