The Role of Climate on Residential Architecture and Living Culture: an Example of Gaziantep

Hassan Tastan

In architectural literature, researchers argue that there are many factors that affect architecture. Culture, local materials, climate, socio-economic conditions, and topography are the most influential factors in the formation of the architecture of a region. The climate of the place is one of the most important factors in the construction of the built environment for communities throughout history. In a certain region, the living spaces that receive the original form with the influence of the climate and the cultures influence the daily lives of the people living there over time and change the way of life. In this context, it can be said that there is an interaction between traditional architecture, climate and culture.

Gaziantep is an important city in the south-east of Turkey. Gaziantep is located to the north of Mesopotamia where the first civilizations originated and settled. And has hosted many civilizations that have been important trade centers throughout history. Throughout history, housing areas within and around the castle have been included in the city. The city is characterized by an urban texture suitable for hot and arid climatic conditions. In Gaziantep, houses are built around a courtyard completely separated from the street, in accordance with the Mesopotamian tradition. Traditional Gaziantep residences which lined up around narrow streets stand out with its materials, building elements and unique details.

The aim of this study is to reveal the construction techniques, ecological design principles of the houses which produced by Greek, Turkish and Armenian masters in accordance with the warm climate conditions and to discuss its applicability today. In this context, the traditional Gaziantep dwellings have been evaluated with six criteria for the ecological evaluation of traditional houses and the use of the obtained data in a new design. These are Settlement Texture and Streets, Building Form and Orientation, Spatial organization, Construction System and Materials, Physical Properties of Building Façade. In addition to the stone materials used in Gaziantep houses, building elements such as courtyard, water element, bird windows have positive effects on the building biology, and some of the findings that have ecological advantages of vine-like plants and gardening. In the conclusion of the study, an ecological and environmentally compatible project experiment was carried out which carried the findings and the basic principles of the traditional architecture.

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