HELIX, Designing Units

Since this semester, we are designing a mass housing project, as a starter point, we began to design some units according to our strategies of office. We designed 1+0, 1+1, and 2+1 units, that is a respond to our adaptable strategy. This strategy can be understood to turning the 1+0 to 1+1, 1+1 to 2+1 and 2+1 to 3+1. They are adapting to needs. We define it like, when you need a bigger living room for your guest, it is attaching to living room. And then, when you need a private room, it is separating from the living room and create a private room as well. Since these units are adapting to needs, the furniture of the space is also changing according to needs. They are moveable and foldable furniture in the space.


Renewable part of the design is defined when the units are coming together. When two units come together, we design a space that is used for both units. So that, this space usage is increasing in time.

Complementary part is the spaces that served for all block. They are the complement part of the area such as gym, cinema, health center and so on. We thought that while the units come together complementary parts are designed to gather them.


Since, we have some sort of ‘mobility’ in our design, we did some case studies according to the mobile idea. These are Maison Bardeaux by Rem Koolhaas, Quadrant House by KWK Promes and Garden House by Caspar Schols. While Maison Bardeaux working vertically, Quadrant House working in a radiant way and Garden House working in a horizontal manner. These three cases analyzed in terms of the mobility idea of them.


Designing the Modern City: Urban Design, Team 10 and Metabolism After 1953 – Eric Mumford

Urban Design

The first reading of this week is about urban design. The reading generally explained different approaches for urban design, and I would like to mention about those design approaches in a brief manner that I understood.

The first thing that is explained in the reading was about centralization, decentralization and the approaches for those topics. Centralization of the city has an impact on the urban design however North American cities in general were beginning to decentralize in the mid-1950s. Eliel Saarinen who use the term Urban Design occasionally had been introduced a term which is ‘organic decentralization’.  By organic decentralization, he means that the auto-scale focused cities with plazas to accommodate pedestrian movement and greenbelts that would work together with transportation.  Joseph Lluis Sert whom is a president of CIAM during the time between 1947-56, was a favor of related ideas and explained them in his essay ‘The Human Scale in City Planning.’ He developed what Saarinen had begun at Cranbrook, put a new emphasis on existing pedestrian cities, Sert aimed to retain the main values of CIAM. Another point that I would like to mention about the part that explained the idea about patios. Wiener and Sert They tried to emphasis that the enclosed courtyard which is patio can be used in various scale and form in a city planning.

Jaqueline Tyrwhitt who was an English planner and CIAM organizer is another person that is discussed through the reading. She generally focused on the idea ‘habitat for the greater number.’

One of the most influential presentations in Harvard in 1956 was Gruen’s approach. It was about pedestrianize the downtown of the Fort Worth. His plan had linked the central business a with neighboring parking areas that would link the district to highways and with underground vehicular system deliveries would have handled.

Team 10 and Its Contexts, 1954-81

A youth generation of CIAM who had opposite ideas from Walter Gropius’s prefabrication and American-based post-war ideas formed a new community which named as Team 10. This part of the book introduces the Team 10 and its aims about urban design. I try to explain their approaches briefly.

Van Eyck who is one of the members of Team 10 suggested that the core may have validity as a place where people could express “spontaneous feelings” and he questioned Sert’s efforts to fit this concept within the CIAM framework.

Another point that I would like to mention is Doorn Manifesto of Team 10 in 1954. With this manifesto, Team 10 rejected the 4 functions-based urban design of CIAM. ‘Human association’ is analyzed instead of the four functions.

One main common point for both Team 10 and CIAM was sharing the idea that urbanism was a global practice and between architecture and city planning there should be no border line.


Japanese Metabolism, Circa 1960

After World War II, Japan began to develop a link between US and East Asia. In 1960s, Japan began to establish itself as a new national identity as an international center of design and industry.

Kenzo Tange and a group of Japanese architects observed the city to be always adaptable to the change of population, a city as a living organism.  They issued a bilingual pamphlet which is called as Metabolism/1960: The Proposals for New Urbanism.

Precedent as Reference by Heves Beşeli Özkoç

In our last session in ARCH202 we took a lecture from Heves Beşeli Özkoç about ‘Precedent as Reference.’ She was one of our instructors from ARCH101 and ARCH102, so we know her as well. So, let me talk a little about lecture which I have not any certain idea.

At the beginning, because there is the word ‘reference’ in title we thought that it will enlighten us about Library in Reference problem. But Heves Hoca said that it won’t and also it will make you more confused about it. And it obviously did.

Let me start with what is Precedent meaning. It means an action, situation, or decision that has already happened and can be used as a reason why a similar action or decision should be performed or made. In architecture, it means a pre-existing case which can be analyzed and used for future examples.

There are some library examples at the beginning because we were working on library, and they were the one that we analyzed for case studies. She showed us The Exeter Library and TU Delft Library and their relation in terms of the space in the heart of the both libraries. 

The Exeter Library and TU Delft Library

After that we moved to balconies to understand precedent well or not I am not sure. There were several examples about different kinds of balconies that are precedent in their categories. I will share the photography of those balconies below but first let me sum up the what we learned (?) from presentation.

There can be many examples about a case that have different interpretations. We are learning in our studios session that there is no correct way about a design. There can be many ways to applied. Also, for this semester we learned that we don’t have to design everything about a project on our own. There are many examples about what we are doing, and somebody think it before us and find the solution. So, why not referring it?

In below you can see the balcony examples that we see  🙂

oddly-satisfying-before-after-cleaning-pictures-87-5ad5ebd5af359__700Les Choux de Créteil

La-Fenice-Opera-House-Teatro-La-Fenice-83835La Fenice Opera House

aqua-tower-028Aqua Tower

1200px-Casadelfascio01Casa Del Fascio

stringioVM Houses

What Happens to all of that Sections?|GAPS Final

Hi, final juries are finally over, and I would like to talk a little about my jury experience and how was my jury.IMG-5506.JPG

First, after the second pre-jury I tried to improve my design. As a strategy I have still two units that are productive and housing units. That two units are separated from each other by a wall and that wall is the main element of the design. I tried to make that wall more obvious. That’s why I changed the thickness of the wall. And the wall extend itself through surrounding of the structure. Also, by shifting the wall through the other unit I designed service kit, so I have an axial way for the service kits and around the wall there is horizontal circulation, too. That was the general idea of my proposal.

Now let’s move on the jury. After I finished the explanation of the strategy, silence covered the hall area. No one was talking, and no one made any comment about my proposal. That time was the most nervous part of my jury experience. I was waiting for the comment and time was passing and I started to feel nervous. Anyway. After those horrible moments I took some suggestions. The first one was about the obviosity of the wall. Even though I try to make it obvious, jury members said that it was not enough. It may be long and more obvious. Second suggestion was about the location of vertical circulation, stairs. The wall can hold the stairs as well, like it holds the service kits. But the problem about that suggestion is I have an idea about ‘+’ shape with vertical and horizontal circulation. I explained it of course and it was somehow okay.

The biggest problem was about my model. I was okay with my drawings, my diagrams and my mass model but the section models… I don’t know why but it became a nightmare for me and it has a lot of problems and not expressive enough. Jury said that, too. So, I can say that, I must work on modelling next time.


I guess it’s all about my jury. I know I have a lot of to work and I am not sure, but I can work on to improve my design for m portfolio. (Let’s hope like that)

300-600AD|Early Christian Italy- Byzantium


Rome after Constantine: The Last Classical Buildings

After Constantine, Christianity started to increase in Rome and the power of the Church increased in the city. During the fifth century, the city came up with a series of churches and these early Christian basilicas made up the final piece of the traditional ancient roman architecture.

The Visigoths entered Italy at the end of the fifth century in order to destroy the unity of the Romans. Their aim was damaging the city’s pride more than its buildings. Even though the city was looted and torched by those invaders, the barbarian leader forbade the destruction of the mass slaughter and ordered that the churches be left unharmed.

There was another invasion in the mid-century and between those two sacks, Rome faced a brief recovery under papal leadership. Popes took the place of the emperors and became the prime source of patronage. They financed a lot of new churches like Santa Sabina, Santa Maria Maggiore and Santo Stefano Rotondo. Those churches built with a refined classical style as a statement of Rome’s surviving ability.

For a little information about those three churches, Santa Sabina’s exterior was simple and reminding the Constantine’s basilica at Trier. In the interior of the Santa Sabina remained the use of arches and Corinthian columns. Santa Maria Maggiore used Ionic capital columns. The flat coffered ceilings and geometric patterns in interior of the Santa Maria Maggiore looks like Basilica Ulpia in Trajan’s Forum. And the last but the most original of these Roman churches, Santo Stefano Rotondo wanted to be like an imperial mausoleum with a central domed space. The designers thought to install four planted courts in the residual spaces between chapels. This church fortunately unbuilt completely.  The central dome of the Santo Stefano never completed.

Santa Sabina and Santa Maria Maggiore

Because of some disasters and invasions, the popes lost their powers and they turned some of the great imperial monuments of the city. Rome’s great dome earned respect as a sacred Christian shrine while the rest of the city kept secular.

Milan on the Eve of the Gothic Advance

Milan another word in antiquity Mediolanum was known as “the land in the middle” Because it had the most important crossroads it replaced as the capital city of the western empire. This political change led to change a lot of imperial and religious projects. Constantine stated that Christianity is the official religion of the state, but pagan beliefs was continued.  Only in 356 there was decree about closure of the pagan temples.

Religious conflicts continued to discuss and one such division occurred with Arius who said that Jesus should not be worshipped as God but instead venerated as a prophet. The barbarians who had converted to Christianity tended to support the Arian thesis.

When the barbarians began to leak Italy as settlers, bishops dominated the Italian cities. St. Ambrose became Milan’s bishop and he created a mixture of secular and religious authority during late fourth century. The citizens chose him to be bishop even though he wasn’t baptized. He financed the construction of three large churches which were Sant’Ambrogio, the Basilica Apostolorum and San Simpliciano. He programmed these churches as martyrs’ cemetery churches.

 Sant’Ambrogio now stands as a three-aisle basilica with colonnaded atrium. San Simpliciano, had tall blind arches built in brick resemble to Constantine’s basilica in Trier but with the addition of a broad transept.  The one’s that opponents to Ambrose created the most impressive early Christian church which is now called as San Lorenzo. The church has a double-shell structure that supports a dome. Three mausoleum chapels extended from its outer walls in four directions while the west of the church opening to a rectangular atrium.




Constantinople: The First Christian Capital

Constantine installed Christianity as the main religion of the Roman Empire and he affected the major types for its cult buildings. During his long hegemony he set up capitals and palaces and helped for new churches wherever he settled. Constantinople which is new capital, he set up models for three church types which are still in use; the aisled basilica, the central-plan memorial church and the pavilion like baptistery.

Constantinople was settled as a tongue to the ancient Greco-Roman city of Byzantium. The dominant urban structure of this peninsula was the Mese which is a grand, colonnaded central boulevard. As urban plan, every half-kilometer or so, the thoroughfare opened a public space. The urban order ends up at the Milion and the Augusteon Forum lined with colonnades on all sides.  In terms of its scale and function this space looks like Forum of Julius Caesar in Rome. The Senate House and the Chalke, which is a bronze arch for entering the Great Palace, stood on the east side of the Augusteon Forum. Great Palace had had dining halls, basilica meeting chambers and series of domestic courtyards and it overlooked a stadium, the Hippodrome like the Domus Flavia in Rome. As a continuous of Roman building types Constantine used churches but unlike those in Rome churches, his churches were crucial points of the new city. Another difference was the use of upper galleries which is reserving for women.

Hagia Sophia took the northern flank of the Augusteon Forum and directly adjacent to the palace complex. Also, Constantine’s Hagia Sophia’s has common structural design wit Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Both were designed in the same years and the same designer team.


Holy Sepulchreayasofya muzesi

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia after Constantine

During the its first century, Constantinople grew into the largest city of the Mediterranean. Hagia Sophia destroyed by rioters in 404 and it happened again after its reconstruction. There are two works that were influential on Hagia Sophia. The first one is the church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus. The designers recommended a double-shell structure, the square outer walls enclosing an inner octagonal figure that supported a shallow dome. SS. Sergius and Bacchus’ scale and design were quite different from Hagia Sophia, but it gave the idea of a domed central space nested inside a larger orthogonal figure. Also, the inner shape of the double shell did not help the stability of the structure.

The second one is Hagia Polyeuktos was also inspired Justinian which couldn’t survive till now. This church has a longitudinal basilica with massive square piers in the center supporting thick barrel-vault arches.

The rebuilt Hagia Sophia included a minimum of flammable materials with arches, vaults and a dome made of stone, bricks and lime. Reconstruction made by two designers that were better known as scientists rather than architects: Anthemius and Isıdorus. They designed the central dome with a shallow drum pierced with forty clerestory windows. Like the Pantheon in Rome these windows opened at the points where cracking could be witnessed.

Like most early churches Hagia Sophia had no real façade and it gave the first impression of a great swollen mass. During fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by the Ottomans the for slender minarets added to its corners.

Hagia Sophia’s profile cannot be reduced to a simple figure made of proportional elements. The dome, cupped shapes and buttresses create complex form. And this make Hagia Sophia different from Mesopotamian Ziggurat and Greek Temple which combination of architectural parts led to a coherent whole.sergius

SS. Sergius and Bacchus

Ravenna: The Byzantine Satellite in Italy

Ravenna which was a small city on the Adriatic coast set a safe distance from Rome and Milan obtained luster as the Byzantine power base. With churches, baptisteries and mausoleums it underwent an architectural remake as the empire’s capital city in the west. At the beginning of the fifth century, the city expanded beyond its canals, and in order to accommodate palaces, a circus and numerous churches is size tripled.

Galla Placidia who was a female patron made crucial interventions in Ravenna. She built the large three-aisle Basilica of St. John the Evangelist and the church of Santa Croce. Santa Croce’s cruciform shape provided one of the first obvious example of a church plan referring to Christian emblem. She also sponsored Ravenna’s new cathedral and baptistery in the first half of the fifth century. The basilica had five aisles like the Lateran and a baptistery to one side. Also, marbles and mosaics were used.

Theodoric who was a faithful barbarian general tried to take control of Italy. He imitated the Roman religious and funerary architecture style. He also planned a monumental tomb for himself like Constantine did. The Mausoleum of Theodoric settled about a kilometer beyond the northeast gate of the city and built in stone. The most remarkable feature of the mausoleum is its monolithic dome. Its roof evoked dolmens and megalithic domes still used by Gothic Royalty.


The Mausoleum of Theodoric

In 526 during the year of Theodoric’s death, they began to shape two great churches in Ravenna: Sant’Apollinare in Classe and San Vitale. The new churches settled far from Theodoric’s palace, literally keeping their distance from barbarian king. Sant’Apollinare in Classe built near Ravenna’s port, it was a three-aisle basilica and close to designed similar to Santa Sabina in Rome. San Vitale followed a central plan as a martyrium. The church’s octagonal double-shell structure was similar with SS. Sergio and Bacchus in Constantinople.

Sant’Apollinare  and San Vitale


Richard Ingersoll-Spiro Kostof, World Architecture: A Cross-Cultural History, p.197-215