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.


Final Project Arch201: Phoenix


First of all, I want to refer back to my previous analysis and continue on from there. My Arch201 project started with the idea of analyzing the site in terms of definition, in other words, how do we orientated ourselves and reference our location. I observed that our site has a unique ring formation that first had a subtracting hilly ring that goes down around the site, forms a lake base and then rises again to surpass that original starting point to be mountainous and then go down again to form a second lake that is not deeper than the actual starting point. This gives us a valley, a flat land salty surface, a mountain, and a second smaller crater lake.

Because we are trying to enrich this location’s experience in some reference to the topics that are present in Taskale and Catalhoyuk, I saw that I can base my proposition to the problem in terms of the tension between common flat circulation surface and the isolated single object-like definition that is separated from the topography. This occurs both in Taskale and Catalhoyuk. In Taskale the circulating common slab is vertical and at the surface of a wall like a cliff and this slab is then punctured in smaller holes to provide well-defined spaces that break that continuity. These spaces are formed by the subtraction used as a tool. These holes are very dominantly breaking the continuity of the vertical surface and if observed in an inverted manner it would look like singular objects that are poking through this wall in an isolated way which is the case in Catalhoyuk where the common slab is horizontal and the additive volumes create differentiation from the topography. The topic of an organic topographic common area in contrast to defined spaces that are separated from this condition is also here. The tool is an addition.

Therefore when I looked at Meke Maar, I realized that the flat salty surface is clearly defined by the surrounding valley and the mountain in the middle. When we were walking on the salt our sense of place were very primitive and a person could walk from one place to another without realizing that they have traveled that much. Therefore this area was very commonly open, without much differentiation and definition. In opposite, the mountain and the valley offered differentiation and an object like quality. So I decided that I can investigate these qualities and explore their meaning in my project.

With the information gathered from my topic, I searched the areas where the definition is increasing and separating itself from the topography of the flat commonplace. I found various indents and well-defined areas but they were all having a common quality that passes through the definition. In only one particular area, the definition reaches a peak level and has the ultimate isolation from the whole Meke Maar which is between the mountain and the smaller hill next to it that forms a nook that ends with a barrier.

This condition offered me to have a transitional area that has a changing linear level of definition that starts with the most commonly open and ends with the most isolated and defined. In this way, I can have both cases of extremes and a transition between them.

As the experience slowly became more isolated and defined as is goes I thought that I can make this experience enriched by exemplifying it. So the new thing was to increase the enclosure level of it. Therefore I had the most enclosed isolated object-like spaces at the top end and have a transition from it towards the journey.

At first, I experimented with speaking a very similar language to the topographic formation which is the curvilinear elements because the topography was like a bowl at the end. But as I continued, my spatial variation was lacking and I could not solve it at this stage. Therefore I observed that in Taskale and in Catalhoyuk different kinds of tools were being used in the case of addition and subtraction. So my enriching elements could have a contrasting language of the tool with the topography as well.

I used surfaces which contrasts the organic surface of the topography and reveals itself as it is manmade. As I was trying to obtain a design where manmade spaces were emerging from the topography, I researched the topological design examples that have a high relationship with the manmade part in our universities library. The examples of artificial topographies were very influential in my design approach. They offered a solution that was working in both horizontal and vertical movements. The elements were emerging from the ground to have an organic structure. These examples offered a key role in meeting the gap between object like buildings in cities to the common topography. This was achieved by the uncanny border between the two and the extension of the inferiority ideology to the exteriority. No distinction between the interior and the exterior but still keeping these concepts to the fullest was very fascinating to me.

To first start my journey, I produced possible paths that visitors can take towards the end. These paths were later simplified and abstracted to three paths as the definition level increased. These three paths are the one coming from the mountainside which the most of the people visit, the one coming from the smaller hill and the one that is collected from the middle of them. They react to the topography and collide in some areas which are also taken reference from the topographic lines. They do not have a physical connection when they meet but have their character effected and fragmented. As they collide and split each time their elements become fractured and become more complex. Because I am increasing the level of the enclosure also, this fragmentation allowed me to produce more intricate and high level of complexity in the final stages. In the final stage, the three paths are destined to meet in reaction to the barrier which stimulates the higher level which also allows me to make people overcome the obstacle of the barrier.

At the end, the enclosure level is so high that the only light source is towards looking the front facade and facing the end of the journey to the south. The light is very crucial to my design because this light is only directly affecting my construct from the final stage towards the end between the two mountains. Therefore through the experience, the visitor is encouraged to follow to the end by following the light path. But there are always exits and other possible breakpoints that give the freedom to go away from one path and enter to another. But the paths are located to the human behavior in this area, therefore, people are mostly expected to stay inside the paths.

As the journey reaches the peak point, the return can be done choosing the other two possible routes back to an experience in reverse. Also, the experience is tied back to the circulating character of the Meke Maar having no end by offering an observing open final space and the end to give a new experience of visual connection to the other side of the barrier which is now passable.

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Triangulation vs Curvalinear vs Ortogonally Linear

For the first initial process of my design project in the Arch201, I wanted to explore different languages of design. Because of the reason the reason that in our first studio I choose to study with a purely orthogonal design, I wanted to challenge myself to see the different possibilities and potentials that come with different tools. Firstly I studied with the addition of some paths that move around and create separations and spaces with the usage of red-taped lines. Then I saw that the creation of spaces can also be constructed in a more volumetric manner. I used triangulation to obtain a folding surface and has more orientation.


After that, I saw that I can also produce a spatial experience by using organic curvilinear elements. These curved surfaces were constructed by the strategy of a transition that comes from being at zero level to some value in a smooth manner. This creates an increasing enclosure level that I got inspired very much that to inject that triangulation tool to that strategy of producing volumes.


Studying Reinforcement Theories

For our Arch241 Class, we were assigned to produce to plaster beams that are later going to be tested to whether they endure the weight. But the twist is that one of the beams includes a tension bearing load that makes the plaster reinforced. This difference is supposed to allow us to see a simulation of the possible beam production in real life. This process also makes us able to test the tension in the structure of the beam.

The assignment started with gathering the plaster and other materials. We choose a very thick tension bearing rope to add the tension capabilities to the plaster which in nature only hold compression.

We then later added the holds that make the plaster forms. After the drying period, our plasters were ready and we compared their breaking threshold.


World of Architecture:1500-1700

In this time period, the Ottoman architecture became its own architectural style which was not evident in the earlier eras. The previous plot was a multitude of major influences conversed and connected to a building. The effects of other cultures through pilgrimage and trade routes reflected itself on buildings as an example of a hybrid structure. But with the emergence of the architect Sinan, a new era was born. Now the characteristic of the ruling aesthetic was set in place and became a particular style that can be repeated in various forms. I thought to think that the impact that Sinan had on architecture was a similar case in compared to the current idea of the genius architect. From now on every ruler appointed a head architect that was very prestigious and powerful in court.


The architect influenced the great design in Constantinople which consisted of mosque and other major religions complexes in its various design concerns. in his design for the Fatih Imaret, the important axis of the city Arch cut through the design. And in the Topkapi Palace, he combines a lot of traditions from west to east which he originally contemplated it and analyzed it in older buildings. these kinds of moves contemplated his future accomplishments.


Also in this week we learned about the very interesting distortion and play if optical illusion if the vision which is derived from the renaissance ideology which is called a Trompe L’oeil. This is an art technique made to twist the perception of the viewer into seeing some figures and realistic depictions as well as architectural elements in a perfect proportion even if their surfaces are very high and tilted in some direction.