ARCH 359

Thinking-Reading-Writing on Ottoman Architecture


This pro-seminar course focusing on the aspects of architectural culture, urban forms, uses and representations of spaces in Ottoman Architecture and Ottoman cities. The material presented in this course is drawn from the beginning of the 15th century through the 19th centuries and will focus particularly on the Ottoman architectural examples of Istanbul, Bursa, Edirne and other Ottoman provincial cities.

The students are expected to write a short essay (max. 2 double-spaced pages, and references) for each week, describing and discussing the concept or issue in question each week, basing their essays on a selection of the provided readings for the week. During the final period, students will have the opportunity to rewrite or revise two of the essays they have previously submitted.


February 14 Presentation of the course outline, methods, objectives and requirements

February 21 Discussing on the history of the foundation Ottoman empire, historical background, the architecture of early Ottoman and the Byzantine legacy

February 28 Constructing the imperial capital: The urban development of Bursa and the 15th century Istanbul

March 7 Sinan’s architecture and urbanism 1

March 14 Sinan’s architecture and urbanism 2

March 21 Provincial urban centers: the impact of the capital and local traditions / Discussion on the concept of style-canon

March 28 Discussing 16th century architectural historiography

April 4 Midterm Exam

April 11 Discussing the patronage: shifting patterns of patronage and spatiality in the 17th century

April 18 18th century Ottoman architecture – Defining Ottoman Baroque Architecture

April 25 18th century Ottoman architecture – Defining Ottoman Baroque Architecture II

May 2 Discussing the paradigms: 19th century Ottoman Architecture

May 9 Review


Weekly submitted essays - 20%, Midterm Exam - 40%, Final Exam – 40%