Ottoman Architecture

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Mehmed II, the conqueror, reign 1444-1481

Constantinople succumbed in 1453 to Mehmed II, known as Fatih, conqueror. A new name ”İstanbul” coming from the Greek phrase ”to the city” Mehmed II built the markets of Kapalı Çarşı for merchnant activity. The square bay with a rounded dome became the standard unit of Ottoman architecture like in the Kapalı Çarşı and used in palaces, hospitals, schools, baths and mosques. Hagia Sophia was the great prize for Sultan and quickly converted into a royal mosque.

Transformation of Constantinople to İstanbul and Ottoman city succesed by royal mosques and minarets. Mehmet II built a new mosque, the Fatih Cami and extensive imaret with three smaller rounded domes which inspired by the great Byzantine churches. The Fatih Cami occupied the center of vast and perceftly square plaza. On the north and south sides stood sets served for study of canonical law which divided into Muslim and non-Muslim sectors. Also the conquerer Mehmed intended the imaret as a welfare institution that demonstrated the benefits of Ottoman peace.

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In 15, Mehmed II decided to move from his palace in the center of city where the acropolis of ancient Greek city of Byzantium once. The Topkapı Saray compex offered a more secluded residence with fortified walls surronding a hill, wooded park and also willfully asymmetrical and more like a garden than a building.  Additionally the Saray has strong connection to natural features adn the framed views to Bosphorus landscapes. The most important policital space in Topkapı, the Diwan or council hall jutted into the northwest corner of the courtyard. The saray is serving as a museum, here is the offical page: http://www.topkapisarayi.gov.tr/tr

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The Topkapı Saray

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Sinan was the greatest architect of Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman military played an overarching role in the administration and state architects. Sinan referred to as Hoca Sinan or Mimar Sinan(the architect) emerged as the most prolific and accomplished over 300 projects throughout the realm. Sinan gained the title of architect of Adobe of Felicity at late age of 47. He built 22 major mosques and imarets in İstanbul. his military career was the main key for his architectural design, he witnessed a variety of design solutions and gained command of engineering through the production of bridges and transport ships.

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Sinan’s earliest commissiıns for monumental works came from two female clients who ere Hurrem, wife of Suleyman I and her daughter Mihrümah. The Haseki Hürrem complex covered the mosque with a single hemispherical dome and designed the hospital, an institution for women with an unusual octogonal court for honor of Hurrem.

The two imarets built for fonor of Mihrümah and also occupied remote sites in the city. The Mihrümah Cami has most splendid domes which a 20meter diameter hemispherical cupola rising 35meter on massive octagonal piers which was in a similar mindset to that Gothic master builders.

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The Şehzade Cami was the first work for Süleyman I. Sinan abutted the central dome with four semidomes which inspired by Hagia Sophia.

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Sinan returned to the composition of Hagia Sophia for Süleymaniye, begun in 1552 which created a central dome nearly as large as the Byzantne prototype, flanked by two semidomes and four octagonal buttress towers rose at the cornes of dome. The Süleymaniye’s imaret covered slightly less aarea than Fatih’s complex and occupied the true center of İstanbul.

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Sinan built his largest mosque in Edirne during the 1570s for Suleyman I successor, Selim II. Selimiye Cami’s dome spread slighty larger than Hagia Sophia and the m,inarets were among the tallest of all Islam. Sinan designed the mihrabs as a semiclosed chmaber with a semidome. Also he articulated the facade in the courtyard with an alternating ryhthm of wide and narrow bays, intimating a kind of Ottoman mannerism.

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The Architect: Filippo Brunelleschi

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Statue of Brunelleschi

Florence channeled their collectice resources into great civic projects. Most public works in 14th century of Florence used rounded arches, symmetrically placed bays, harmonious proportions and a different perspective vision so this style added a new way of seeing, treating buildings as freestanding objects in proportinal space. The cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiorre was the greatest civic project of Florence which began in  1296 and entrusted to Arnolfo di Cambio who proposed a simple Gothic style. Projects continued by Francesso Talenti. The cathedral was as wide as the Pantheon in Rome. One of the significant property of cathedral was the central dome’s octagon which has 3 sub-octagons and each of these contained five radiating chapels. Additionally, in the 1380s urban designers did clear surronding buildings and rebuilt the houses with stone cladding and round-arched doors. Filippo Brunelleschi trained as a goldsmith and very successful in the art of construction that he earned the title ”architect”, a qualication rarely used since antiquity. He took charge of the project after a competition in 1418 and proposed to build the new dome with a self supported structure which saved a lot of money. The technique of self supported structure was combination of double shelled structure and masonry technique.

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The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Brunelleschi conserved the dome’s pointed arches and ribs from Gothic program of a few generations earlier. He inserted rounded tribunes between the three apses to help absorb the outward thrust of dome and each of these marble cylinders had five shell- capped niches which were demonstrating the architect’s familiarity with ancient monuments. Also five shell-capped niches flanked by pairs half columns which were rare in that time and unknown Brunelleschi’s day.

Brunelleschi was also designed the Foundling Hospital in 1419. The place was originally orphanage.Brunelleschi respected the convertions of earlier hospitals in Florence like using long halls and courtyards set behind a public loggia. The facade had a distinct classical appearance.

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The dome of the Old Sacristy of San Lorenzo in 1419 was one of the most known project of Brunelleschi which built for Medici family.

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In 1430s Brunelleschi probably designed the Pazzi Chapel for Pazzi family who were supporting Medici family certain period and than became the most hostile enemy, completed by architect and sculptor Michelozzo di Bartolomeo in 1460s. The Pazzi Chapel served as the chapter house.

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Brunelleschi also initated the plan to rebuilt the Church of San Lorenzo in the 1420s and this project to completed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo who was the architect of Medici family. Old church resembled the early Christian basilicas of Rome.

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Brunelleschi and Michelezzo provided a new sese of rational clarity for a sacred space.

For more information and picture visit East Tennessee State University: http://faculty.etsu.edu/koterbay/architecturetest1.html