Designing Using Sketching and CAD

After designed the plan of the Housing Reference Project, I recognized the true practicality of using the media of real life sketching. By printing the digital plan and then studying different solutions, i am able to design more affectively. After this there is always the solution to bring your abstract decisions to work on the properly drawn digital media.


Reacting to Site 1

After the production of our sketch problem, we now had the opportunity to bring our projects up to a more complex level by adding the much-needed topography aspect of it. Before, the thought process was that we should have our references and quotations and then think in how to bring them together and form some kind of an essay organization that creates a narrative that is related with influencers, references, and appropriate quotes.

I think this is an interesting approach to a real-life building design since most design choices stem from real site analysis and go from there to provide a good design. But this is definitely not the only approach to design. The process can be the other way around concerning the site-less design and then integrating it with the topography after the first initial state. This is very similar to a book that I have called “Siteless” that I will make a later blog post so stay tuned for that!

Anyways, I think this is interesting and very beneficial in understanding the importance and the influence of the site also while not being trapped by it in the first stages. Since we had our quotation/referencing sketch problem, our instructors gave us our randomly chosen sites that only have the topographical information on them.

Mine was a triangle shaped bordered site that had a hill formation on the center that merged downwards creating two directions towards the point ends of the site. Therefore from now on, I tried to integrate the site and the model. Because they are both strong characteristic elements they are both influenced by each other and influence each other.


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

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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