Islamic Architecture
Construction in the Ottoman classical period
I've been researching about the construction of public buildings during the Ottoman classical age: The structural solutions, the use of materials, etc.

In order to obtain a global view of the formal aspects of that architecture, I try to study its technical matters. So far, I haven't found any valid documents for this project. Where should I look for it? Any book or bibliography?
Jordi Trias
Historical construction: Ottoman classical period
Dear Jordi,

I am not aware of any book out there that isolates the technical aspects of Ottoman 'classical' architecture, however, you may want to look into the following:

Gulru Necipoglu's new tome on Sinan, the court architect who epitomized the so-called classical period, may be of interest. It's entitled "The Age of Sinan" and published by Reaktion Books (London, 2005). She does a fantastic job of merging details about the donors and their place in society, the architecture, the urban context, etc. You may be especially interested in Chapter 3 (Culture of Architecture and Decorum) and Chapter 5 (Institutional Frameworks of Architectural Practice). It also has an extensive bibliography.

If you are interested in the generative principles of Ottoman classical complexes in particular, look no further then the work of Alpaslan Ataman of Bilgi University. He has, unfortunately, only published in Turkish: "Bir göz yapidan külliyeye: Osmanli külliyelerinde kamusal mekan mantigi".

You've probably already looked at Godfrey Goodwin's "A History of Ottoman architecture", which, although published in 1971, is still in currency. It describes the 'evolution' of Ottoman classical architecture from its Seljuk and Byzantine roots.

The three above, you can easily purchased from online bookstores. Mustafa Cezar's "Typical commercial buildings of the Ottoman classical period and the Ottoman construction system" from 1983 may be harder to get your hands on.
Ozgur Basak Alkan
Construction in the Ottoman classical period
Dear Ozgur,

Thank you for your answer and your advices. I have already read Necipoglu's book about Sinan. Great book! I think is the definitive study about Sinan so far! I have also read Kuran's book.

Indeed, it was after I read those books that I started to get interested in the construction techniques of Sinan's buildings. I have always tried to understand a building in all its different phases.

I will read the Godfrey Goodwin classic.

Thank you,
Jordi Trias


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