The Study of What We Built – History of Architecture

Second year of my architecture education has just started and this year I have ‘ History of Architecture ‘ course. The first assignment of this course is about the first chapter of ‘ A History of Architecture ‘ by Spiro Kostof.

Architecture and history cannot be separeted from each other and we cannot analyse architecture distinct from its history. While we are analysing the architecture (structure), we have two options to get information, one of them is visual sources and the other one is literary sources. All pictures, paintings, diagrams, sketches an architectural drawings such as plans, sections and elevations are the visual sources for us. These are the common language that assist to get to know structures for other architects, engineers etc. They give information to us about both physical properties, design process and design decisions of the structure. Another source which is the literary sources is quite dangerous and complicated when we compared to visual sources because as Kostof exemplified in his book ‘ Pliny’s book about The Mousoleum of Halikarnassos came down us in several texts and they have changed because of different copyists so they are miscopied and we lost some informations.’

The history of architecture is not only about the structure itself. It is also about the environment of the structure so to understand the structure we should analyse its surrounding, the other structures, urban and its history, some ethics and philosophies of some movements that predominate in its time and lifestyle of its users.

Consequently, to comprehend the architecture we should check and understand its time and aim. They give us all beneficial knowledge about architecture and its meaning.

Arch 121 Report 6 – ‘ Experiencing Architecture ‘

This week, Rasmussen’s Experiencing Architecture book’s first chapter assigned to us. I have read some parts of this book before I started my architectural education. I must say that Rasmussen tells architecture and concepts of architecture simply, fluently and by giving explanatory examples so a person who is not an architect can easily read and perceive this book.

At the beginning of the chapter he defines architect and architect’s arts by comparing the sculptor and painter with architect. He says that the architect works with form and mass like a sculptor and works with colour like a painter but the architect’s work is more functional and utile for people and he also defines architecture, he says that it borders the space to live in and it creates the framework that surround our lives. He also says that architects have some difficulties in their works and permanence is one of these difficulties so he advises that the architect’s building should keep ahead of its time so that it will not lose validity as long as it stands. He also tells architects as nameless heroes, as anonymous and he draws an analogy between architect and composer who compose the music which others will play. In other words, the architect has own plan drawings and typewritten specifications that there will be no doubt for the craftsmen who construct his buildings. Also he clarifies and exemplifies that some concepts have not their real meaning in architecture and he says that by using pear-shaped cup by Wedgwood example, after firing, the cup is hard but we also know that while it was shaping, it is soft so we can say that it is an example of a soft form in a hard material.

Rasmussen’s examples from cup to tennis racquets related to our life and experiences, these are some kinds of observation such as lightness, softness, roughness, hardness etc. He suggests that some observations come from childhood. These observations and the child’s play are continued in the grown-up’s creation just as man proceeds from simple blocks to the most refined implements, he proceeds from the cave game to more and more refined methods of enclosing space. This is what architects do.

Arch 121 Report 5 – ‘Three Reminders to Architects’

This week, we have read Le Corbusier’s writing which is Three Reminders to Architects, Mass and Surface. In the beginning of the text Le Corbusier says that architecture show itself over mass and surface and he defines the architecture as a pulling, truth and dexterous play of mass that aggregate in light and he suggests that light and shade show up the most important basic of geometric forms such as pyramids, cubes, cones, spheres, cylinders and when he evaluates Gotic architecture, it doesn’t use spheres, cylinders, cones as base. However Egyptian, Greek or Roman architecture is the opposite of the Gotic architecture. Le Corbusier also explains that engineers’ works don’t based on an architectural aspect but these works can remind architectural sense because they use outcome of calculations and basic elements.

Surfaces create mass and they personalize the mass and Le Corbusier says that if the architecture’s basis is spheres, cones and cylinders, lines that reveal and create these forms shold use pure geometry as base but he criticises 1920’s architects in this term, he says that this geometry startles the architecture. However Le Corbusier supports engineers who not internalize a specific architectural thought and find some forms that create mass by proceeding with the necessities of obligatory demand.

Arch 121 Report 4 – ‘Regulating Lines’

This week, I have read a text ( Regulating Lines )that had written by Le Corbusier. In the text Le Corbusier diagnosed regulating lines as an indispensable element of architecture and he told that it is necessary to constitute in order. Also he clarified how the regulating lines enhance the fine proportions and add sense of coherence to the building. In qther words, regulating lines submit us the chase of harmonious relations with one another and the quality of rhythm on the work. In the text Le Corbusier exemplified the utilization of the regulating lines in the past to make tasks easier, to correct their works and for the satisfaction of their sense. Also Le Corbusier listed off several structures that are used regulating lines, a primitive temple, Notre – Dame de Paris, the Capitol in Rome, the Petit Trianon and his work in Paris.

Arch 121 Report 3 – ‘Architecture, Pure Creation of the Mind’

In this week, we should write a report about a part (Architecture, Pure Creation of the Mind) of Towards a New Architecture, Le Corbusier that we read and a video of Bernstein (What Does Music Mean ? ) that we watched two weeks ago to prepare a digital poster.

In this text, Le Corbusier reflects his exact manner and thoughts about architecture. In the beginning of the text he expresses that profile and contour are the touchstone of Architect (When I have done a quick research about touchstone, I understand that touchstone uses a gauge to specify the quality of a thing.) because they reveal either an artist or absolute engineer and when the art enters in, architecture is formed, he mentions that in work of art, there must be a unity of aim, clear statement and its own special character and all this associate to us a pure creation of mind.

He draws attention to axis of organization and he clarifies it like that, this axis leads us to presume a unity of affairs in the universe and he says that the reason of appearing the results of mathematical calculation satisfying and harmonious to us is proceeding from the axis.

Le Corbusier approach critically a topic that certain writers’ exposition. This topic is inspiring from nature. Certain writers have predicated that Doric column was inspired by a tree springing from the earth. However, Le Corbusier expresses that it is false and he exemplifies this thought with columns in Greece.

In the video Bernstein talked that notes are not like words at all, a word has got a specific meaning or when we say a word spontaneously its image comes to our minds but if a note is played, we have not an idea about its meaning because it doesn’t have a meaning. In other words, nothing has no meaning by itself but when some things come together with rhythms, combination and at the same time with a unity and also within the tramework of a plan, they create a whole.


ARCH 121 Report 2 – ANDERSON, J. “The Design Studio”, Architectural Design

This week we analyzed a reading that had written by Jane ANDERSON. Firstly, I must say that this text is a guide book for students who start off this architectural life as there are doubts whether architectural design can be taught and also most of architectural schools and design studios use their own techniques but sometimes some students and also I may feel as if get stuck on the beginning of this education system because architectural education has not strict rules so what architecture students’ need is learning by doing on design studio and architectural education.

I also accept this text as a guide book so I find some keywords to lead me such as practice, sketch books, sketch models, analysis, diagrams and discussion. I have perfectionist and partly hasty character and when the assignments was given, I just begun to think how to do it. I can say that design studio is a place where you can gain experiences so based on my small but influential experiences sketch books have huge place instead of thinking invariably in architects’ life because as the author’s say in Zaha Hadid part sketches may not always be project specific, they express ideas and possibilities rather than certainties and solutions and as my instructors’ says sketches are not trashes, we can bring them together and we can reveal beneficial and effective result because learning by doing gives us instant feedback in terms of the visual result thusly we can do it better the next time.

It is not mentioned in the text but inspiration is required on the design studio. This can be even a hair as used Bad Hair Pavilion but we shouldn’t wait for it, should we? J Thus in this moment analysis and practice come into play. The more we practice, the better we get. On design studio, also design studio projects have important place. Design studio projects target that students should explore multiple ideas and potential solutions to the design problem so again analysis, sketches and diagrams become more of an issue and learning new skills and how to use new tools help support and develop the design work. This kind of project can help us in our professional life because projects in a professional life follow the same stage to student projects.