ARCH 221: THE ARCHITECTURE OF ANCIENT EGYPT

While we are looking at the Ancient egypt which is located around the Nile river had two broad policies: Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt -those had a separate ruler and a separate capital- We observe that Nile give many characteristics to Egypt. They used Nile for transportation and astronomy, math developed with calculating Nile’s flood periods. Also their sattlement is shaped by Nile. While traveling in the axis of the river, they observed that they have no circular horizon so they had orthogonal planning that is relating with the field. Investigating the environment characterized their architecture. They were inspired from the surrounding.

Religious shaped their way of dwelling, their designs and also the environment. As an example,Giza pyramids were important for Egyptians, but with time they lost their popularity. Also when Ra fell down, Giza lost their popularity and their royal importance. Another example, Deir el-Bahri temples were mortuary temples. They were determined according to the position of another temple: Amon’s temple at Karnak. The purpose was supporting religious values. That is why structures settled in opposite directions.

ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS MUSEUM

Today I went to Anatolian civilizations museum. I draw some sketches and took photographs as an architect’s eye. There are a lot of things that I found interesting. Çatalhöyük dwellings (Neolithic Age) are some of them. They were egalitarian society and it also reflected to their dwellings. In their houses, there are some specialized parts and they also burying their deaths in their dwellings. The hunters, deaths, godess are there. With murals, they are making a kind of representation. No written things on murals, but a representation of Çatalhöyük.

There is a sample of Hellenic architecture in Anatolia.

ARCH 221: 02/ THE CAVE AND THE SKY: STONE AGE EUROPE 3/ THE RISE OF THE CITY: ARCHITECTURE IN WESTERN ASIA

Here is my report from chapter 2. This chapter is about architectural instinctive, which never changes with centuries. It was the same with the early people’s approach. It starts from the Stone Age. For example, early people used hills in punctuation, they used caves to gouge and protect themselves from predators which mean that architecture has already begun, people were using it. People were determining boundaries of area -with different approaches from now- and separating them from other ones. This attempts are architectures’ bases. There are many samples that show us architecture was exist in Stone Age, unless some people may think architecture started at Neolithic period with agriculture and sedentary life. Kastoff asserts that, architecture starts with people’s existence in the world. Nature also has architecture if you think the architectures’ bases. Earth has many directions that are endless. There is rivers and ridges to divide these large peaces, to have balance. This balance relates with architecture. Architecture can’t be perceived without thinking it’s environment. We can think the environment as an architecture. With Neolithic period, people started to use the environment with agriculture. However, humans were experiencing the earth, the architecture since they were created.

We can assume architecture as a shelter: protecting us, a place to live,work, shop… People are dwelling with using architecture, with making a piece of earth meaningful for them, with differentiating bulks according to their needs -that impulse is instinctive-. But architecture has more meaning than being shelter.

In Stone Age, human made Terra Amata that is in France and found some tools in some parts such as workspace, hearth while creating a protective area, hunter gatherers. They produced closed spaces with regional materials for example stone, wood. Former human were making a kind of representation, expressing themselves with murals. We can say, murals are consequences of humans’ desire and they are also dwelling. Lascaux caves, we see their act on dwelling, Murals are an instrument to their intellectual connection to the world. Murals can relate with religion, hunting… We can see their daily activities, social organization and their perception of life.

With Neolithic period we see next step of design and also with agriculture, a lot of thing changed. Human passed to settled life, produced food in the ground, and built houses. With agriculture, human started to settle down, because crops need time to grow. They started to be interested in weather conditions for their crops -they need rain, hot weather…- This dwelling also shaped humans social structure. They give role to women and men. Women were obligated to take care of the house, men were obligated to hunt. Areas divided, parts specialized. We begin to see a sense of architectural spaces. Dividing spaces with wall, new spaces with different function. Monumantel architecture has started hence of this period. They started to build stone monuments: menhir, tombs… They started to create places of organizational level, they created a new kind of understanding and concentration of creating new place. Stonehenge is a pattern of this organization. It consists of vertical and horizontal stones, that create a circular regulation.

The urban revalution starts with Sumerian myth that is moon-god Nanna at Mesopotamia. When the word “civilization” researched we see the relation between civilized and city. With humans’ sedentary, the “civilization” (the art of living in towns- Kostoff) started.

ARCH 221- HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE CHAPTER 1

ARCH 221’s first assignment is reading History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals which was written by Spiro Kostof. This weak, I have read the first chapter of the book.
Architecture is nested with history. History works on and analyze books, literature, drawings and more variables of the time which historian needs. Architects make sketches and diagrams from the initial step of their design, and to the final production. In addition to these sketches and diagrams, abstract drawings, plans, elevations, models -in small scale- , section drawings help them to explain the structure in a comprehensible sense. With all of these, we try to see the structure as it’s creators’ viewpoint, because these resources are creators experiences. These studies which are going to be documents of architectural history are needed to have a record of process of the design both for architects and historians.
An architect should document her/his every process of design and everything for both his/her own and future generations. Buildings’ photographs, important notes, sketches, maps, paintings are needed history of architecture. Architects need images which are helping them to communicate with other architects and others that are interested. This language also helps them to get in touch with different centuries. However, this communication does not gives vest to architects to reconstruct the building. Structure cannot be separated from its surrounding. Greek, Gothic, Baroque architecture are meaningful when we think their environment. They cannot be separate from the whole composition. Reconstructing buildings without respecting their environment and without respecting their centuries is rude, in addition it creates poor surroundings.
Consequently, to determine buildings personal character we should evaluate it with its time. We should not judge buildings in its context. Searching the tradition also could help us, because tradition is a bridge, that helps us to understand the structure, its architects’ approach and the sequence.