World Architecture

Arch 221

At the begining, architecture’s first concern was adapting to nature in order to achieve the feeling of security which started with dwelling. Dwelling is the most abstract way of architecture which contains basic conseption of building, even it is not architectural. Architecture develops according to the way how people live. Hunter-gatherers decorated caverns and caves with beasts they hunted for reverence which they transformed into shrines. Therefore, first religious behaviours, permanent shrines were created that bases the foundations of architecture. Caves turned into sanctuaries.

As a result of nomadic life, hunter-gatherers comprehend the necessity of temporary shelters so that primal architectural action occured with the fact of fire and tentative oval hunts were built which were the basis of community. Those primative huts form a basis for architectural theory. “Pieces of wood raised perpendicularly gives us the idea of columns.Horizontal pieces that are laid upon them, afford us the idea of entablatures.” (Marc-Antoine Lougier) As I mentioned, architecture develops according to way of live. Transition to agrarian society changed and improved comprehension of building which results in permanent and not unobstrusive building. Göbekli Tepe was one of the earliest sites which is an example of monumental architecture. Round Temples were centered by 2 megalith and some visual representation were found on them. In another site Jericho, Israel, houses were also round shaped. Then newcomers rebuilt the site and built rectangular houses. Even the material types affect the shape of structure, I wonder why people chose to build oval houses first because if we look the Jericho example, -same materials, same site, same geological situation-, why did they prefer oval, as Göbeklitepe, then changed into rectangular shapes? Only material can’t be the only reason of oval houses. And the smilarity to Göbeklitepe makes me curious about it. Maybe it’s something religious ritual.

When Çatalhöyük is compared to Jericho and Göbeklitepe, we can acknowledge that Çatalhöyük is more complex and has social diversities that providdes a long life for site and order. Therefore, it means complex religious life.

Vernacular architecture always respond to regional materials and geological conditions through trial and errors. At first, while nomadic people were using mammoth bones, ropes, hides and woven grasses which are light materials that can be carried, with transition to agrian society, people used wood, mud, stone and brick as materials to build permanent buildings. As I mentioned, geology affects architecture. For example Koufitou people had to deal with humidity problem. Solution was pilling up mud balls which is called cob technique. Nature’s difficulties improved the structure by offering other solutions. For instance, vaults and domes were preferred in order to avoid compressive resistance and water resistance. Flat roof’s problems led to this solution. While finding solutions, people had ideas from huts which are the basis of architectural theory. Wigwam huts suggest that design of temporary nomadic structures served as the logical source for permanent architectural solutions such as the houses in Jericho and Khirokitia. Builders use wigwam type frames to sustain a mud covering. I think it’s important to be inspired for wigwam hut which are tentative and nomadic buildings in order to built permanent buildings.

Another issue is that how materials affect the building’s geometry. “The orthogonal nature of bricks encouraged rectangular geometries that were more precise than rounded forms created with mud.” I don’t know if it satisfies me about the case I mentioned about Jericho, preferring round houses to rectangular houses but it can be said that type of material affects the whole geometry. This is valid for stones, megalith and woods too. For instance, disposition of tree trunks established the basis for the column system.

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One thought on “World Architecture”

  1. “Çatalhöyük is more complex and has social diversities that providdes a long life for site and order. Therefore, it means complex religious life.” I do not understand why longer life of site means somethin ‘religious’.

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