OLD KINGDOM EGYPT

We are reading World Architecture- A Cross Cultural History by Richard Ingersoll and Spiro Kostof and personally I am very curious about pyramids so I chose this part of book.

Firstly, we should have some informations about Egyptian culture, their hierarchical order and their religion. The period of Old Kingdom Egypt is between 2700-2100 BCE. Also before unification of Egypt, there was two Egyptian kingdom which were Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt was stronger in political and economical manners and also both ancient kingdom had specific properties own their symbols such as Lower Egypt used to red crown for their king, Upper Egypt used to white crown. Narmer was the king, united the two kingdom. crowns-for-united

After unification of two kingdom, there was a single crown which was combination of red and white crowns.

Egypt kings were considering a son of god and they belived would live in eternal afterlife. That’s why Pharaohs used their power to create their Mastaba(royal temb) for afterlife. For them death was considered ”the passage to another region”. Their economical power comes from Nile river actually Nile River efformed their lifes and religion. Unlike the pyramids, houses of old kingdom were made with perishable materials and they designed planar surfaces because climate favored tent structures. As a evidence of dwelling manner, there are many reliefs on tomb decorations about form of houses. Also Egypt had a heavily populated urban centers. In architectural manner, pictographic system of wiriting helped to develope orthogonal planing. Additionaly, the form of pyramids comes from Nile River and of course this is a hypothetical argument.

typical-mastaba

Pharaoh Djoser lived in 2691-2625 BCE and he was the first king to built a pyramid which Saqqara Pyramid. Also the first known architect designed the pyramid who was Imhotep. Architect Imhotep, created six levels of a stepped tower from transformation of typical Mastaba. Imhotep served as the king’s advisor and came from nonroyal blood but he had place for royal court. Saqqara Pyramid has perceft rectangle 500*300 metres and has 15 gate towers but only one of them could be entered which is in south corner. Also surronding spaces of the pyramid served the HebSEd festival location. This festival was generational event which has some rituals like symbolic sacrifice. Also celebrated every thirty year of ruler and they belived it was kind of rebirth of the pharaoh also afterlife pharaohs would repeat the festival regularly. Pyramid purpose was a palace for pharaoh’s in an eternal life with god Ra. ” The stepped pyramid dominated Djoser’s funreal complex, rising above the flat desert landscape like a vision of another world.” That’s why they belived death king would live with Ra and asisting Ra on his daily journey and procuring good fortune for Egypt.

saqqara-pyramid                                                                  Saqqara Pyramid

Pharaoh Sneferu reign from around 2613-2598 BCE. Sneferu came from a nonroyal background so political purposes he married his half sister and also maintain the royal bloodline. Sneferu gain political favor with the military campaign so he had power which used to built his afterlife palace. Pharaoh Sneferu had three or four tries of pyramids. The second was Bent Pyramid at Dashur. Bent Pyramid is taller than first one and have greater slope also. However they started with slope 51 degree but some of reasons they changed 43 degree. Third or fourth one is Red Pyramid. Also Sneferu created the first example of valley temple.

bent-pyramid                                                            The Bent Pyramid

Pharaoh Khufu reign approximately 63 or 73 years and end in 2566 BCE. Khufu known as a Cheops Pyramid owner. Cheops Pyramid still prevails as the largest building in terms of mass in the world. 2 million stone blocks were used in it and give it total load of more than 6 million tons. In this pyramid has own qualities of course such as mastaba for his mother (accompanied by three/four small pyramids for the pharaoh family). The Great Pyramid of Khufu designed by his nephew Hem Iwno. The slope is exactly 51,5 degree and it is like perceft narrowhead.

khufu                                                                The Great Pyramid of Khufu

How were the pyramids constructed?

There is no documentation about the constructions methods of Giza Pyramid(The Great Pyramid of Khufu). So it is still controversial topic. Also there are many possible theories related with using ramps of sand such as long wide ramp, long splayed ramp etc.

Flatland by the author A SQUARE

a-squareFlatland:  A Romance of Many Dimensions published in 1884 and the author of book is Edwin A. Abbot. Actually I just started to read book and I can say that it is quite interesting and perspective of the book is so different also it is exactly true facts. Imagine a world which is two-dimensional that’s why called Flatland. Also there is a hierarcial order in Flatland for example triangles are soldier , circles are politician. And our hero is a square. It is very difficult to understand the shapes without touching(touching is dangerous also). Womens are only lines like needle and our hero is explaning their invisibility actually it is a simple geometry rule. I like the two dimensional world and our hero very much but I could not read all of it and also some of the points were missed because of language. So, firstly I want to read translated Turkish first and than original one. There are many publishing houses and many translations.

Sola publishing house: Düzdünya translated by Şermin Çetin

The popular one is Düzlemler Ülkesi translated and published by İş Bankası Publishing House

Also there is movie about the book which is Flatland: The Movie, I watched a little bit and I think it is quite good.

Report:Early Communities

This post is about prehistoric period of humans and their way of lives in terms of architectural sense. I read particular parts of A Global History of Architecture book. Firstly, early culture is quite important to understand societies, so domestication of animals and plants are one of the main parts of settled life. Therefore, people were hunting and farming and, those methods and techniques past to generation to generation. In that same manner ”architecture, like civilization itself, was born in our prehistory.” So it is very long process to achieve current informations. Paleolithic humans was starting to do paintings on caves for the purpose for that probably they wanted to make a track.

plaeolithic-hand-from-lascaux-france                                                   Paleolithic hand from  Lascaux, France

There is museum in there included the original cave but visitors do not access to original cave. The museum is Lascaux 4 Caves Museum by Sonhetta, if you want more informations about that museum, you should visit lascaux.fieldmusem.org and snohetta.com

Mesopotamia is significant for understand prehistory. So, one of the main topic is Mesopotamia communities. Again, they were farming which using Tigris and Euphrates river and they were living upper hills. Houses were like shelter and built by using mud and timber. Therefore they created walls of various heights and there were some decoration such as gypsum plaster. Also trade was not only used locally so Mesopotamia area became the largest network of villages and cities in world in that time(5000-3500 BC).

”Tigris and Euphrates region as the birth place of urban civilization.” That’s why this area is very important.

Also, Gobekli Tepe is very popular right now, because probably it will change all system. Gobekli has circular dry stone up to 3 metres tall and kind of open air temple. That’s why it is quite important because before Gobekli Tepe, archeologist thought that in the prehistory first come sheltering needs after than religious needs but Gobekli Tepe has opposite one. Pillars of the Gobekli Tepe showed detalied reliefs of many animals. Gobekli Tepe abandoned around 4000 BC and carefully filled the site with earth and no one knows why.

Catalhoyuk 7400-3000BC, Catalhoyuk is in central Analotia and also center of metal trade such as obsidian, volcanic glass as a decorations. A city was nearby a river and lake. In the city there was no street and no passageways. House do not entrance, there was a opening on flat roof and there was one large room connected with smaller rooms. And similarly there were some decorations such as hunting scene, textile patterns etc.

Stone Circles, England, aorund 4000BC, there were tomb structures which has three upright slaps like U shape. There were two types of stone circles which were open sky or surronded. Also, those tombs built by local stones, and most probably using for the burials or cremations. One of the most amazing stone circles at Aveburg, England. In this stone circle, there is certain composition, pattern which occur by circular structure (almost 1100 standing stones) and for the compare to other stone circles Aveburg is very impressive.

Ornament and Crime Report

This is my indivual report of Ornament and Crime Essay.

The essay written by Adolf  Franz Karl Viktor Maria Loos. He was an Austrian and Czechoslovak architect. Also  he was a pioneer of modern architecture and contributed theory which is critism of Modernism in architecture and design. In his early career, at age 23, traveled  to United States and this journey was changed all his life. After associating himself with the Vienna Secession and he rejected the style and advocated a new, obivious and unadorned (which means without unnecessary or special decorations). As a result he wrote his most famous essay which is Ornament and Crime in 1908 and published in 1913.

To beginning, I want to give dictionary definition couple of words:

Ornament: a small object that you keep in your house because it is beatiful rather than useful.

Papuan People: who are the people of New Guinea and neighbouring islands.

Ulititarian: to be useful and practical rather than attractive

Firstly, the author gives some historical examples from the beginning of humanity and main purpose is explaining the ornament with using three different example. In the first one, The Papuan kills his enemies and eat them but in his age, he is not a criminal. However, if the modern man kills someone, he is a criminal or a degenerate. Another example is about tattoos. The papuan tattoos his skins, his boat, his paddles, in short everything he can lay hands on but in the end he is not a criminal. However, the modern people who tattoos himself is either a criminal or a degenerate. (according to 80 percent of inmates show tattoos) The last and most generic example is about art. The Papuan begins art with plastic art which is painting and smears the walls with erotic symbols but he is not a criminal in his age. On the other hand, if the man of our day (talking about 20th century) smears the walls with erotic symbols, he is a criminal or a degenerate. All this example gives a certain end point which is ornament produced by criminals.

Secondly, the author gives some points on cultural evolution about how is affect by ornament issue. Adolf Loss had made the following discovery: ”The evolution of culture is synonymous with the removal of ornament from ulititarian objects.” In the essay, gives some couples examples about that discovery and give some obsevartion about evolution of culture such as every age has it own style which means people meant ornament. The greatness lies of our age, that is incapable of producing a new ornament. We have outgrown ornament; we have fought our way through the freedoom from ornament. Loos gives specific an observation about evolution of culture which is ”The speed of cultural evolution reduced by the straggers.” For example, I perhaps am living in 1908, but my neighbour is living in 1900 and the man across the way in 1880. Those stragglers people from 19th century horrified by a picture with purple shadows because they cannot see purple. To generalize, same issue is in everywhere. Another example is if cigarette case has an ornament, they are prefering generally or clothes are in same problem category, all of those ornament objects belong to past century.

Lastly, the author gives some examples economical effects of ornament. Adolf Loos: ”The stragglers slow down the cultural evolution of the nations of mankind; not only is ornament produced by criminals but also a crime is committed through the fact that ornament inflicts serious injury on people’s health, on the national budget and hence on cultural evolution.” And Loss gives some couple of examples about effects on economically in ornament issue. For example, if two people live side by side with the same needs, the same demands on life and the same income but belonging to different cultures. Economical conditions will process that way, the modern man who belongs to 20th century, will get richer and richer. On the other hand, the 18th century man poorer and poorer. Because the ornamenter has to work 20 hours to achieve the income earned by a modern worker in eight. According to Loos the difference from the Bristish nation is same condition with this. The American workers work for eight hours, but half of the work belongs to ornament issue. If there were no ornament at all, man would only have to work four hours instead of eight. That’s why ornament is wasted labour power and hence wasted health from beginning of it.

Since ornament is no longer linked with our culture and it is no longer expression of our culture. The ornamenter will reject his own products after a while. For example, where are Otto Eckmann’s work today? Also modern ornamentalist is a straggler and in the end they have no roots with past and not will be link for the future. As a result; ” A mankind is healthier than, ever; only a few people are sick.”

For understand better I want to give my favourite and best example about ornament issue in Ornament and Crime Essay. My shoes are covered all over with ornaments, work by the shoemaker. I go to the shoemaker and say: ”You ask thirty kronen for a pair of shoes. I will pay you forty kronen.” In that situation, the shoemaker  is happy. However, the hapiness rarely enters his house. Because I am understanding him, I know the value of his shoe, I know how many hours work on it and I know he is a professional on this job and his shoes are infinitely better in terms of material. As I mean, there is no doubt for the price of shoe, I know the value of his work but many people do not give money he asked for the work. And I say to him: ” But there is one condition. The shoes must be completely smooth.” With this, without ornament, his working hours reduce a half of it.

Finally, Ornament and Crime Essay is completely wonderful and, Adolf Loos’ essay would be fundemental to Bauhaus design studio and would define the ideology of Modernism in Architecture. In my opinion, the essay is so dense, I read twice some parts but argumentative language is the main and key factor for the this essay. The essay gives some examples of cultural evolution and economical situations which created by ornament. Honestly, I could not understand completely some examples which are more about historical events and relationships between crime. On the other hand, economical and cultural examples are just perceft for his age and observation are so precious, the reason for that the essay be a fundemental for Bauhaus. To sum up, I completely agree with Adolf Loos ideas and as a beginner in education of architecture the essay gives to perceft educational informations about design.

Space and Structure: Report

This text is about ‘Space and Structure’ part of Analysing Architecture book written by Simon Unwin.

”The relationship between space and structure is not always simple and straightforward; it is subject to different approaches.” These approaches are mainly seperated as a two different idea which are choose structural strategy to create a space and decide on the planes and provide with structure. Additionally, there are three main relationship between space and structure which are dominant structural order, dominant spatial order and the harmonic ones.

In the history of architecture, have been create a conviction which is the structure is the basic design element and tool to create space in specific geometric order. For example, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, built by S. Sophia, spaces created by using pattern of structure which means the places are identified by the structue. The other similar example is cathedral of Notre Dame which was built by the french architect Auguste Percet in 1922. There is similar relationships between those two example in terms of using structure to create the places. A general fundemental idea is traditional architecture is more likely simple, basic and not having a complexity in terms of created spaces, and as group traditional architecture joins dominant structural order. On the other hand, the architects in twentieth century, had an idea to create complexity with using overlay of different geometries and that did create structural pattern is complex and additionally spatial organisation is also complex too. Another different idea was seperate the structural order from spatial organisation. In this manner there are some couple of good example, first one is a small house on Long Island, New York, built by the architects Kocher and Frey in 1935. This house particulary contains the idea of Le Corbusier’s the principle which is ”Dom-Ino”. That’s means in a basic sense, the planing of buildings could be free of the laws, rules or limits of structural geometry by the use of coloums supporting horizontal platforms and which provides a movable and optionable spaces for the living people and the privacy is not defined by coloums, defined by using movable screens which provide the people make personal spaces as their needs. Also Mies van der Rohe worked on this topic, one of the best know example is Barcelona Pavilion. In this, the architect was totaly free and created spaces with specific purposes with using only solid and transparent walls.

This is my report of Space and Structure, here links of couple example which are mentioned in my report:

The detail information about Hagia Sophia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia#Architecture

The architect Simon Unwin, the author of the Analysing Architecture much more information:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Unwin

The biography of Mies van der Rohe:http://www.biography.com/people/ludwig-mies-van-der-rohe-9407940

The biography of Le Corbusier:http://www.biography.com/people/le-corbusier-9376609

Regulating Lines: Report

This text is a report a part from A Towards of Architecture which is Regulating Lines.

”Regulating lines bring satisfaction to understanding and regulating is a choice.”

For example, primitive man did build some temples for their god and some shelters for their needs and afterall there was a plan of house or temple. That’s mean there was idea to gover all process from the beginning. Like this historical example, the idea is constant and it begins with primitive resources. And overall, these plans governed by mathemical calcutation. That’s why well and distribute constructs depends on measure of units. This measurement is relatively close meaning with human scale because the builder creates his own work for own needs and for that he wanted to be comfotable. That’s why human scale is main point and creates a harmony with his own proportion and afterall this is a regulating lines means. For the generally, the design depends on geometrical forms like circles,squares,axes, angles etc. That’s why we can easily see and recognize these proportions. That’s mean geometry is the language of designers. For the beginning of text primitive man’s example, the great architecture is mainly close using human instinct that coming from in the very beginnings of humanity. Today architects built ‘the villas on the Normandy dunes, the modern boulevards and the international exhibitions’. These designs are not common afterall and they looks like an alien things because they did not use their roots which is human instinct like primitive human did this. The opposite examples are Notre-Dame de Paris temple,  the Capitol in Rome,  the Petit Trianon. In each example everythings relatively depends each other and hold together like line proportion. For example, the laws of gravity, of statics and of dynamics etc. are depends each other and seems like as a whole. That’s why architects or designers must think everything as a whole and creates own work with using imagination world and some of basic rules. That’s why regulating lines are the one of the methods or technique of create necessary and basic things and, integrate human proportions as well.

Pure Creation of Mind: Report

This is about Pure creation of mind text report. Firstly, the text is part from Toward an Architecture book which was written by Le Corbusier and orginally published in 1923. The book orginal language is French, published in english in 1927 by John Goodman. Turkish version of the book is ‘Bir Mimarlığa Doğru’. As general opinion book aim is exploring the concept of modern architecture. Actually, this book as a general opinion like a manifesto for the generation of architects. That’s why Le cornusier had important effect on the architectural profession. The book has a 7 different chapter and we worked on pure creation of mind part which is 5th chapter in the book. In this chapter, mostly mentions about The Old Greek Architecture. For example, the book gives information about Acropolis’s temples and comment on it higher level of architecture. Actually in this chapter has a certain aim which is explaning Greek or Doric architecture but also gives same different and unknown information for understand to knowledge behind the structure. For example, certain writers have declared that the Doric column was inspired by a tree sprining from the earth but ıt is most false because in Grece, where stunted pines and twisted olives grow. That is a huge information about Greek architecture and idea of construct. As the book says that, architectural idea of Doric is not resembling nature, the idea is pure which means linked to nowhere. That’s why Le Corbusier tried to explain Greek architecture is the most pure creation of mind and also architects which means that. It means that architects do not resemble things or copy them,of course they have some references but at end of the process, creation is pure. I want to give a specific example which is Leonard Bernstein: Young people’s concert. In this concert had a purpose which was what does music mean actually. Bernstein knows as one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history. This concert was not only a simple concert. For example, in the begining of concert Bernstein gives a example, there is a song played by orchestra after the song Bernstein was asking  a question about the song which is ‘what do you think that is all about?’. Young people’s answers was very simple and actually general which is cowboys, horses, the longe ranger, wild west etc. Bernstein knew the answers before he asked it because the song used for cowboys,west movies so many times. However, actually the song created by Rossini and he was Italian never saw or heard anything about West culture. Bernstein says that the song is not about cowboys in the first place, is all about notes that’s creates a combination,composition. Music is the music, has a musical meaning and never depends on any story. This is wonderful example for explain the pure creation of mind because like music, architecture never relatively connects or links any kind of story or resemble nature or something else. We can explain the architecture only using architectural terms and rules, we can not explain otherwise would be wrong. The text is all about dealing with this kinds of examples and explaining very different way, it was very harsh in first time because the language of the text was very tough but as a general comment it was a really unique and useful for understand the idea of architecture designs. Also I want to the read the turkish version of the book, I wondering. If you guys want to watch Bernstein show here is link:

And if you want to learn more details about Le Courbusier, there is link which is his biography.

http://www.biography.com/people/le-corbusier-9376609

This is the my first report of Arch121 course and also the first assignment.