Monday, July 15, 2024

Contemporary Architecture with Simin, VII



Hello everyone,

“Mediterranean unity is primarily based on climate, and this very special climate remains the same from one end of the sea to the other; gives similar qualities to lifestyles and landscapes. This climate is almost independent of local landforms, because the breaths of its western neighbor, the Atlantic Ocean, and its southern neighbor, the Sahara, shape it from the outside.” Braudel

In this article, I will share with you the Mediterranean architecture, which is shaped by the climate of the Mediterranean, composed of stone material, and expresses itself in a simple language. In this region, which has a landscape that we can also call geographical luck, it is one of the first rules of permanent shelter in the region that anything added by human hands does not affect the view of the Mediterranean.
The layout of the plain structures that are lined up as if they are a part of the topography and disappearing among the hills of the Mediterranean has been adjusted according to the geographical conditions.

These low-rise buildings, which are planned in order not to interfere with the sea view, are generally built with rectangular plans. In architectural plans and layouts, the intake of outside air shapes the design. The most obvious example of this is the courtyards, which are the life of Mediterranean houses. Just as the beating heart is indispensable for the body, the courtyard life, which reflects the character of the members of each house, is an indispensable architectural element for this region. Just as the blood pumped from our hearts gives us oxygen and life, the members breathe in the courtyard and get together.

The Mediterranean region means living by the sea. A common architectural language has developed between different settlements with the same sea. There are characteristic architectural styles developed by different civilizations swimming together in the Mediterranean. For example, Italian-style houses have an architectural language with arches, rounded lines, and ornaments shaped by the Renaissance influence. Spanish style, on the other hand, is dominated by a simpler language. They settled on the coast with less height and unpretentious fronts. On the other hand, all these styles have a common front rhythm. Like a hat worn to avoid being affected by the sun, the people of the region wear blinds in their homes. The shutter is an indispensable element that is frequently seen rhythmically on the facades to combat the intense daylight in the geography.

Climate is the building block that shapes the design and lives in its geography. For architecture to produce a sustainable result, it must be compatible with the geography it is in and be able to exist without interference to it. One of the similarities between vernacular modern architecture and Mediterranean architecture is that they are formed with sustainable designs in the region they exist. Vernacular architecture is an anonymous architecture that emerged from geographical conditions by using local materials. This architecture tells us about the culture, nature, and daily life of the community in the region. Nature gives birth to us, shapes us, and makes us live according to itself.

I would like to end my article with a discourse as I started. “The earth is a form of writing, a geography we forget we are the authors themselves. ” Georges Perec

See you in my next article,

Simin Pakakar
Co-founder of Kanopi Architecture
Istanbul, Türkiye
Instagram: @kanopimimarlik


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