Monthly Archives: September 2015

CHAPTER 3: THE RISE OF THE CITY : ARCHITECTURE IN WESTERN ASIA

Since the last chapter focused on Europe in its early ages, this chapter brings out the early architectural formations of Asia and its technology. Asia is somehow developed before than European civilizations. Asia make better use of materials and developed a technological achievements.  There are two types of cultures exist in Asia at that time;Mesopotamia and Egypt.  Both civilisations have a water source nearby, have proper lands to grow crops and vegetables and have enough food to be wealthy to trade even though they have extremely unique and different cultures. What should be pointed out here is that one of the most important development or invention of those periods is the use of written documents; shortly, writing. This invention is like a pioneer which enlighten the past civilisations and helps us to have more information about them. Being able to record things make them more civilized.

“Civilisation” comes from the word city. So, we can discuss about the cities of the ancient civilisations like Mesopotamia and Egypt. Unlike the Neolithic Age, Urban Revolution comes with a higher level of interactions in cities. There are more streets and public spaces which also increase the communication levels between the citizens. The cities are socially developed. Since the nomadic life has completely forgotten and there are the extra amount of food; there are new areas of professions like being a trader or religious people. These new professions also creates social classes; the wealthy ones with higher life standards and the workers. There are more complex city organisations both socially and structurally. Both these civilisations make use of their surrounding materials while building up dwellings. There are variatons of stuructures in a city. A house of a farmer is different than a house of a monk or the palace of the king.

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CHAPTER 2: THE CAVE AND THE SKY: STONE AGE EUROPE

Kostoff just started his writing in his chapter by stating architecture as a simple act of making places for ritual use since it is one f the basic human needs. It is in fact, arrangement in nature if we consider the Earth as a place full of potential to be arranged. Architecture, according to him, marks off an area to distinguish it from others. By creating boundaries or by monumenting we can mark these pieces of nature and make them differentiating from the rest of the places. Although the first humans has some problems by accommodating themselves to the nature, in time they created shelters which can be natural or manufactured for  a purposeful use. (ex: caves, Terra Amata)

The oldest humans can be considered as hunters who made use of enclosed spaces as protection. In their dwellings, we can see the primitive parts of a settlement; an area to sleep, kitchen, toilet area. Old stone age is making use of both technology and ritual use of architecture. As the writer has distinguished, the shelter has further meanings; it is more than a housing, it became a sanctuary. Above all, the sanctuary became a place where the hunters could express their art as a tool of reality; cave murals, sculptures which also reflects religious side of these hunters. (rituals sacraments etc.) The fertility is shown as a big female figures. The circle of life is also a part of the cave art also like the hunt. The cave at Lascaux can be an example which is a community project.

The New Age(Neolithic Age) is a time era in which humans begin to settle down, stay stable on a piece of land. That brings out new requirements and readjustments not only as farming or animal husbandry; appropriate vegetal and animal resources but also the necessary technological improvements to the required lifestyle. Neolithic age, shortly, can be presumed as a fixed place under the sky; it is beyond hunting and gathering. So, the new age has also its own architectural principles. Farmlands require individual divisions which also provide the individual’s settlements. However, there is also huge stones which “are raised up to mark open lands”; megaliths also which are the proof of community with the cooperation of technology. There are houses, monuments and tombs in this age lead humans to control and provide open and closed spaces according to useful need.

Then, Kostoff gives examples like Temples of Malta and Stonehenge as monumental architecture. Cgantiga which is a part of Neolithic Age, consists of its ancestral memories reflected in it.(painted caves) It is formed as a centralised closed space which is adjusted according to the needs of its users both ritually and visually. Stonehenge is built for a reason; to communicate the powers of heaven and celebrate it. So, it has a divine motive. It has such a special organisation so that such astronomic phenomena could be experienced. Heavy stones with an open-air organisation creating a smooth arch… That is an explicit design.

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Accordion drawing sketchbook

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We were asked to produce sketchbooks which are supposed to be like an accordion. It is a good feeling that we are having our own sketchbooks; the size, shape and design are all up to us. In sketchbooks, we are going to put all the reseach we are going to have and all the analysis we are going to make throughout this semester.

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Chapter 1: The Study of what we built

We were asked to read the book ” A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals” by Spiro Kostof chapter by chapter throughout this semester. This book is mainly about his ideas about architecture; how it should be understood, observed etc. And, here I am writing about the first chapter:

The first chapter strongly underlines the relationship of history and architecture. history is consisting of a lot different fields as politics, strategies, economy or architecture. All these concepts are created by mankind and the mixture of all these concepts forms the richness in history.

Then, there is a part where it says while analysing the building we should consider all factors; enviromental factors like the height or the location,the nature, the dominant architectural concept at that time or the technology of the materials of the time being. The surroundings of the buildings also affect the building. In the book, Kostof said the building it pre-determined how it is going to be built just by looking its surroundings.

Architecture has its own language which let people throughout all the history can communicate. We can understand the sketches, the plans, the sections; shortly the drawings of a building even though we have no idea of their own native language.

Lastly, we have some different ways to learn about the history of architecture. We can learn from some written documents like litteraire masterpieces; books or journals or from the contracts between the client( ex: the king) and the architect or some financial records which states the required materials to built a structure. As stated above, we can also learn from  written architectural resources as drawing of a building. These sources give different information of different characteristics of a building. In order to prove that a building exists, we must crosscheck all these resources and verify an information we found in one with another one.

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New School Year, New Year in Architecture

Hello there everyone and welcome back to my blog! Actually, I’m the one who is back. 😀 It has been quiet here for a long time but it is about to change. School has just started and has also bring its tempo. Since this is my second year in studying architecture, I’m considering myself no more as a beginner, apprentice but more like a someone who has some idea about what she is doing. Anyway, it is gonna be a looong semester so see you soon!

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