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.
Because of the rich character and well-designed nature of the Middle East Technical University Campus, our instructors decided to take us on an educational trip to experience this campus. Our aim in this study was to vary the studio environment where we learn by experience to also affect our ability to design by seeing and documenting those different uses of design solutions. This trip was a continuation of the on-going studio times that will continue to shift environments from time to time in order to observe and analyze different design problems and how we can shift these solutions to implement our design problems in our own projects.
We also focused on the specific spatial use of
“hinge” in these buildings. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the word “hinge” in this architectural context, a hinge can be defined as how two elements are connected. As hinges in the context of attaching doors or windows change and adapt as the elements that are being connected to differentiate, hinges in the architectural means also adapt to differentiating conditions.
For example, if two elements form a junction or corner, they cannot just do that without any reaction to one another if they are not the same element. This results in a hinge solution that is unique to every design problem. Although these conditions are unique, we can also take note from these instances and apply a similar approach to other problems hence our trip to METU.
While talking about hinges, it is wise to ask how a hinge can be identified. There are no specific rules about this condition but it can be said that hinges are an in-between state between being considered as a gap or a mistake. This gap should be proportionally in a way that acts as a part of a plane. At certain parts reaction of one element to another can be in the form of a hinge but we need to ask ourselves whether it is a space or a hinge. Space can also act as a hinge but we need to draw a line between spatial hinges and surface hinges. The surface use of hinge can be used to exemplify certain spatial qualities but a spatial use of hinge can directly act as a space that is the result of two reacting spaces.
Proportionally the hinge is very small therefore it is experienced as part of the connection between two critical elements and not as a space/element itself. The use of light in surface treatments is also important when it comes to altering the spatial experience of the space.