ARCH 221: Final Assignment Draft

As the final assignment of the course ARCH 221, I decided the “transition”  as a concept that is in relation to the experience of space and also my architectural element is “courtyard”. My project includes transitional spaces which connect from open to enclosed. Transition is one of the basic concept of architecture. It is cannot only passing from open space to closed space, but also it connects between everything which have different qualities such as from narrow space to large and from regular to irregular. In short, it act as a bridge.

When looking at the history of architecture, courtyard function as transition space between outside-inside and between rooms obviously. Courtyard houses consisting of multiple separate residences have been built in many regions and eras and also it changed in time. The first appearance of the courtyard in Neolithic age. The courtyard house has played a major role in people’s life because of the fact that they have been used for many purposes including cooking, sleeping, working, playing, gardening and etc. The courtyards also link between private and common space.

In Greek architecture, the courtyard was built in open air space between rooms. In those days women were not allowed to stay outside, so the courtyard was built so that they feel as if they were in outdoor space.

In Hellenistic Greek and Roman term, courtyard transformed to the Peristyle which is a open colonnade in a building surrounding a court. However, it still maintained to separate from outdoor to indoor as well as maintained to become transitional area. When we look at the Islamic architecture in Mediaeval term, the traditional Islamic courtyard called Sehan. It is used for secular and religious purposes.

To sum up, we can see the meaning of transition in the history of architecture of civilizations. The courtyard is one of the most important architectural element to understand using of transition in daily life. I just mentioned types of courtyards of some civilizations  very briefly, but i will explain in detail in days to come.


Transition Spaces


ARCH221 Report: The Urbanization of Europe-Edges of Medievalism


This reading is about changes in cities, layout of new towns..etc. The strength of cities comes from the free exchange of goods and services, a function which bishops and feudal lords did not encourage. Even so, an episcopal or royal palace helped to some extent. On the other hand, fairs and pilgrimages, increasingly safe after the year 1000, breathed life , into stagnant cities. The healthier among them tempted the passing tradesmen to settle for good. These extramural merchant colonies, called faubourgs in French, were the beginning of urban expansion. The faubourgs were just outside the town, in front of one of the gates or across the river. The walls were there to control entry in peacetime, as well as to safeguard the trading activities of foreigners who paid for the privilege. The personal safety of the town people was only one aspect of defensive outlays. It was imperative to keep the town small, not only because walls cost dearly to built, but also because unlimited expansion reduced the take at the gates and diluted the rights of those within. Under the circumstances, the most sensible layout was the wheel: radial streets converging on the hub from the gates of a circular wall. In the older Roman grids, on the other hand, which favored the four arms of the crossing axis, diagonals might be cut through the rectilinear blocks, or secondary markets might be established away from the main marketplace.

In new towns term, an occasional bishop or abbot began to establish new towns. For the royal houses, this activity was an overall strategy to take effective possession of their territory by populating it.  The towns always small and the land subdivided into burgage plots, was distributed among the first comers. Each men had to build his own house on the plot given him, with this way towns plans started to occur.


The city center in Florence, the very design of the city-form was both cumulative and participatory. In early fourteenth century the city center was an imposing ensemble of new public buildings, among which visual relationship were being clarified step by step. Also in this term, the commune was busy with the cathedral, Orsanmichele, and the latest set of walls begun. The most famous structure was the Florence Cathedral in that term. To construct the dome of Florence Cathedral, often mislabeled as the first Renaissance structure. It was inspired by the Pantheon, its construction was of a double-shelled type built around a Gothic ripped vault. Also the basilica is one of Italy’s largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.


ARCH241: Digital Poster of Catenary Model


We are asked to analyze the structures we have produced for the second assignment in relation to the forces acting on the structures in both situations and document our analysis through a digital poster.The documentation included;

diagrams of the structural systems indicating the load distribution
assuming that the structures are in equilibrium, indicate the forces acting on the structures analysis of the structures in relation to the topics covered in the course such as stress, internal and external loads, possible failures, load distributionetc.

ARCH 221 Report: The Birth of Nations: Europe After Charles and The French Manner

LessayAbbaye3When Constantine establishes Christian churches as publi buildings, in the 4th century AD, the basilica is the natural     form for any such place of gathering; and the apse is ready made for the altar. The three great churches founded by           Constantine in Rome are all basilicas. Carolingian society was Church-ridden clerial. Its constructive cleverness showed best in religious architecture. The new church form, mobilized by Frankish patrons and architects was to preempt the built environment of the later Middle Ages in the Westland stand for the chief rallying point of the social life in Europe. In reality, the passage form Carolingian to Romanesque was neither smooth nor uninterrupted. The story of architecture in the eleventh century, then, is much more than the rise and triumph of the Romanesque church. Inns, hospices, rural enclaves, roads, bridges, castles- all these should have their place in the story.

Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. In the Romanesque term(9th – 12th century), it has become applied by extension to other arts, in particular sculpture. But the term remains most appropriate to architecture, where the round arches of Romanesque can easily be seen as what the name implies – a continuation of the Roman tradition.  As a body of knowledge was eventually re-developed, buildings became larger and more imposing. Examples of Romanesque cathedrals from the early Middle Ages are solid, massive, impressive churches that are often still the largest structure in many towns. The arches that define the naves of these churches are well modulated and geometrically logical—with one look you can see the repeating shapes, and proportions that make sense for an immense and weighty structure. There is a large arcade on the ground level made up of bulky piers or columns. The decoration is often quite simple, using geometric shapes rather than floral or curvilinear patterns. Common shapes used include diapers—squares or lozenges—and chevrons, which were zigzag patterns and shapes.

Romanesque churches were dark. This was in large part because of the use of stone barrel-vault construction. This system provided excellent acoustics and reduced fire danger. However, a barrel vault exerts continuous lateral (outward pressure) all along the walls that support the vault. This meant the outer walls of the church had to be extra thick. It also meant that windows had to be small and few. When builders dared to pierce walls with additional or larger windows they risked structural failure. Churches did collapse.

634858091276689145-notre-dame-parisLater, with the architectural                   developments, Gothic architecture evolved from Romanesque architecture. several significant cathedrals and churches were built, particularly in Britain and France, offering architects and masons a chance to work out ever more complex and daring designs. The most fundamental element of the Gothic style of architecture is the pointed arch, which was seen from Islamic architecture. The pointed arch relieved some of the thrust, and therefore, the stress on other structural elements. It then became possible to reduce the size of the columns or piers that supported the arch. The slender columns and lighter systems of thrust allowed for larger windows and more light.

The Notre Dame Cathedral is probably the finest example of French Gothic architecture. It employs all the structural elements of the new Gothic architecture: the pointed arch; the rib-and-panel vault; and, most significantly, the flying buttress. Its spiritual intensity is heightened by the fact that no direct light enters the building. All the light is filtered through stained glass.




ARCH 221 Report: The Trumph of Christ – The Mediterranean in The Early Middle Ages

In the first half of the seventh century, Islamic culture occurred. In the century after the death of the prophet  Muhammad, his Arab followers spread his teachings through Egypt and Africa, as far west as Spain, and as far east as Sassanid Persia. Because of their rapid expansion and the paucity of the earlier artistic heritage of the Arabian Peninsula, the Muslims derived their unique style from synthesizing the arts of the Byzantines, the Copts, the Romans, and the Sassanids. The great strength of Islamic art as a whole lies in its ability to synthesize native design elements with imported ones.

The fifth and eighth centuries was called as the Dark Ages, when Western civilization was decimated throgh onslaught of Germans and Muslims. With long-distance trade stifled, so the story went, the oldRoman cities became defaunct. As far as what was being built in the West between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Charlemagnei we should not expect to see the same continued scale or the same mechanized efficiency and production that governed Roman building operations.

The true range of Carolingian architecture comes through in what we know of their monasteries. Carolingian churches show some distinct differences from early Christian churches. The delicate columns that graced the naves of early Christian basilicas gave way to heavier, bulkier piers, providing greater structural strength and allowing for ever-grander churches. Yet the most distinguishing feature of Carolingian architecture is the birth of the westwork, a facade on the western entrance to a church. His capitol at Aachen shows this clearly. Just look at the Palace Chapel. Here we see that the early Christian narthex has been transformed into a single tower-like entrance, called a westwork. Besides building churches, Charlemagne constructed or expanded dozens of monasteries throughout his empire. These monasteries served as religious retreats, centers of scholarship and art and, most importantly, public schools for the learning of literacy and Latin.


The principal Islamic architectural types are: the Mosque, the Tomb, the Palace and the Fort. From these four types, the vocabulary of Islamic architecture is derived and used for other buildings such aspublic baths, fountains and domestic architecture.

The earliest architectural monument of Islam that retains most of its original form is the Dome of the Rock (Kubbet-üs-Sahra) in Jerusalem, constructed on the site of the Jewish Second Temple. Muslims believe it to be the spot from which Muhammad ascended to heaven. It has mosaics depicting scrolling vines and flowers, jewels, and crowns in greens, blues, and gold. Similar in some aspects is the later Great Mosque of Damascus  which are known one of the biggest and the oldest mosques and was built by Al Walid over what was originally a Roman temple.