Timeline of Courtyard

timeline of courtyard

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”. Transition is one of the basic concepts 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, there are many various spaces which enable transition parts. One of them is the courtyard. Both of them are an integral which complete each other. Courtyards which were private open spaces surrounded by walls or buildings have been in use in residential architecture for almost as long as people have lived in constructed dwellings. 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. Its 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.

When analyzed the forms of courtyards in history, the first courtyard formation was appeared ca. 6400-6000 BC, in the Neolithic Yarmukian site at Sha’ar HaGolan giving the site a special significance in architectural history. There is no clear evidence, but it is understood  from the boundaries of the site. The houses consist of a central courtyard surrounded by several small rooms. The using of courtyard started to use in there and moved on in kinds of civilizations in many way. After some time, in Skara Brae, people started to separate to their houses which stands on the far side of a paved open air courtyard. It became a transition part between rooms. Unlike the central courtyard in the settlement, it provided a private life inside the house. Among the Mesopotamian architectural accomplishments are the courtyard house was an important development. The courtyard house was the predominant typology, which has been used in Mesopotamia to the present day. The house has an open courtyard which provided a cooling effect by creating convention currents. It was think that the courtyard was the primary organizing feature of the house, all the rooms opened to it. The Sumerians were the first society to construct the city itself as a built form. When looking at the ancient city of Ur, it is seen that it had a particular order and all of the houses and palaces etc. which had courtyard system. In the Egyptian architecture, we can see the courtyard style in the temples. The best sample is Luxor temple.

The central uncovered area in a Roman domus was referred to as an atrium. We generally use the term courtyard to refer to such an area, reserving the word atrium to describe a glass- covered courtyard. This courtyard also has a central pool used to collect rainwater. On the other hand, civilization of Rome has large public spaces called Forum. These Forums which consist of temples, basilicas, arches, monuments, and other structures were a kinds of a courtyard in the public space. This place enable transition between different structures and also it was for public meeting.

In the same period Greek architecture were maintaining. There were many architectural forms allied successfully. One of them was the Agora (public square)surrounded by storied colonnade and other structures. Agora was a kind of a public courtyard like Roman Forum. When looking at the classical houses, majority of them opened at one side onto a small courtyard which enable light and fresh air. Larger houses has peristyle courtyard at the centre, with the rooms arranged around it. The palace of the Knossos is the good example for the palaces in the ancient Greek. Its main feature was the central courtyard. It provided access to several areas, including a throne room, a central palace sanctuary and a residential quarter, which may have housed royal apartments.

When coming to the medieval age, the style of courtyard houses in the middle east reflect the nomadic influences of the region. In the Romanesque architecture which combining features of ancient Roman and Byzantine and buildings and other local traditions used central courtyard in the monastery and cathedrals. They were enclosed, arched courtyard connecting the different buildings that made up the complex, and serving space for retreat and meditation, and for performing ablutions.

On the other hand, Islamic architecture continue own existence in those terms. It continues from the foundation of Islam to the present day. Undoubtedly, courtyard style developed and used in Islamic architecture. Islamic architecture is the heart of the courtyard. It was used in many mosques, madrasah, caravanserais, baths and palaces.  The home of the Prophet Muhammad is considered the first mosque. His house, in Medina in modern-day Saudi Arabia, was a typical 7th-century Arabian style house, with a large courtyard surrounded by long rooms supported by columns. This style of mosque came to be known as a hypostyle mosque, meaning “courtyard with many columns.” The courtyard called  ‘sahn’ in the Islamic architecture. Most traditional mosques have a large central sahn, which is surrounded by an arcade on all sides. In the 11th century, a different architectural style occurred. Hypostyle mosques started to be converted into four-iwan mosques, which, as the name indicates, incorporate four iwans in their architectural plan. We can see that this sample in the Jameh mosque of Isfahan. The layout is arranged around a large open courtyard. The courtyard were used for the transition between iwan mosques.

When the Islamic architecture came to the 12th century, on the other hand, gothic architecture occurred after the Romanesque architecture. In this term, many architectural styles began to change. It was used pointed arches in the buildings. Of course, courtyard style affected from that term features. It still used in the cathedrals and monastery such as Porto cathedral.

After the gothic term, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture. In their courtyard, given importance to the horizontal emphasis, contrasting Gothic architecture. The best example for the renaissance term courtyard is Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Open colonnaded inner courtyard at the center of the palace, based on  the monastic cloister of medieval times. After that term, in 17century, this style was continued and succeed by Baroque architecture. When looking at the baroque architecture, the best structure was the palace of Versailles.

This is the inner Royal Courtyard of Versailles. In there, people begin to appreciate the amount of gold on the buildings. As part of the free land grant in Versailles, the roofs of the buildings and houses of the new city were not to exceed the level of the Marble Courtyard at the entrance of Versailles so that the perspective from the windows of the palace would not be obstructed.

To sum up, courtyard form was used by many civilization, architectural terms and etc. Courtyards have historically been used for many purposes including cooking, sleeping, working, playing, gardening, and even places to keep animals. They have been designed and built throughout the world with many variations. It changed according to the architectural styles in time, but its purpose of usage in terms of transition not changed.





ARCH 201-241 Detail Model 1/20

In this assignment, we are going to study on the detailed model we have produced in ARCH 201 course. One of the detailed models will be selected and produced in 1/10- 1/20 or 1/50 scale, where the main motivation will be the structural concerns of the selected part. While producing, pay attention to the hierarchy of elements, how different planes/elements meet and work in coordination, sections of the elements etc. The load distribution pattern in the models to be produced should be similar to real conditions. Therefore, the material choice in the model should be in accordance with the actual material properties.
IMG_0622 At the beginning of my project, I thought using only wood element on the ground, in the roof and walls, but wood is not long-wearing for a long time when using the wood singly, so it needs a load bearing system such as steel frame. I decided to use combination of wooden slab and steel frame.

First step of the model is producing a steel frame. While producing, I thought how I produce the steel frame. While making it, I paid attention to the load distribution, so I used the truss system. The function of the truss is mainly to carry and support the weight of the covering material of the system. The members along the top are in compression and the members along the bottom are in tension. After the decision of the load distribution, I focused on the  points of junction. Welding is the basic method to join the steels. After applied that, it is not enough for the system robustness, so I applied extra method which is crewing. I used various parts of a metal plate connected steel truss. The plates and bolts are required for the structural trusses. With this way, it contributed more robustness to the system.    IMG_0624

Second step is wooden slab on the steel frame. I used 1cm wooden pieces (20cm in reality). Then, new problem was how both of the steel frame and wood bring together. I applied to screw from edges to the steel frame. Finally, I produced detailed model in 1/20scale.

Process of the Project After Pre-Jury

After the pre-jury, I started to study and think on my project and i decided to make some changes according to my instructors saying. Also, i continued to make new spaces and roads. My topography was in a bad condition towards the end of the term (as can be seen in the pictures :D) I changed the shape of stairs to provide same language as a whole.

Some spaces  were combining in a point, but i decided to combine intersecting to spaces. With this way, load bearing elements eased bearing the loads and they became more durable.



ARCH 221 Report: The Popes as Planners: Rome-Absolutism and Bourgeoisie: European Architecture


St. Peter’s Basilica

The Baroque period was one of the most exciting times for European architecture. During this period, from the end of the 16th century to the dawn of the 18th century, European architecture exploded in novel directions. Rather than designing a single building, an architect might be responsible for reimagining a complex of buildings, or even planning an entire city. With this shift, the capital of art and architecture moved from Rome to Paris.

 Regular, repeating designs gave way to curves and irregularity, as various styles were mixed and adapted. Yet this variety was regulated for the purposes of symmetry and grandeur. Finally, for the first time since antiquity, architects began tinkering with optical illusion in building. They realized you could trick the eye into making a large building seem even grander. This hearkens back to Greek tricks that allowed their grand temples to tower even larger in the eye of the beholder. Let us begin, as the Baroque style did, in Italy. Here we can see the most obvious Baroque architectural innovation: the use of curves. At the Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, we can see how straight lines were replaced with delicate curves, giving the building its distinctively Baroque feel.

There is no doubt that the best example of Baroque architecture is in Italy is at Rome itself. At the heart of the Vatican stands the Basilica of St Peter. This impressive structure reached its current state at the hands of Baroque architects. Saint Peter’s had featured a central plan design, upon which various architects had worked (especially Michelangelo). Maderno converted the building into a Latin cross basilica by extending the nave, thus pushing the main entrance of the church forward. Saint Peter’s can therefore be roughly divided into two parts: the core and the front extension. The great dome of Saint Peter’s is also chiefly Michelangelo’s work, though Maderno did adjust its proportions (by stretching it vertically). The facade of Saint Peter’s contains a number of typical Baroque elements, including double columnslayered columnscolossal columns and broken pediments. All of these elements were pioneered during the Late Renaissance, in mannerist architecture.




ARCH 241: Design a Surface

We are asked to design and construct a surface through the organization of linear/planar/continuous elements, where we are going to study the structural performance of the surface. We are expected to create a “system” through the repetition and association of the elements and analyze the potential of the materials and the system. The proportions of the surface in xy axis is 1-5 / 2-5 and we are expected to discover the potential of the system we have proposed both in xy and z axis. While designing, I referred to the structural systems covered in the course and design the surface accordingly.