The design of a house develops under a variety of influences, one of the most
significant being the historical evolution of the house. Mankind cannot easily
break away from traditions, habits and experiences. Consequently their influence
can be continuously traced within the development process.
When we study the Turkish house of Anatolia, we can see the traces of nomadic
life. These traces emerge more clearly in the design of the room which is
handled as an individual living unit and in the relations between the hall and
the room. If we assume that the room corresponds to a tent or a "round
house" then the hall represents the outer space between the tents. In the
older examples the hall is open to nature all around, although it is under roof
cover. The hall or the outer space totally encircles the room.
We can see the same basic features in Safranbolu. Some of the older houses
halls. In some others, the extensions of the hall, the eyvans,
secure an outer space for each room by separating them from one another. Each room is the "home" of the family unit. Consequently, it is
the room which is most significant in the concept of home. The house design is
based on the room and its surroundings. The size and design of a room is almost
invariable. Having no alternative room design, the main feature of the
house is predefined. The other units of the house are function-oriented. Apart
from the rooms there is a toilet-washroom, a pantry and a staircase. The ground
floor has its own functions and is designed accordingly.
Houses with open halls The oldest houses encountered in Safranbolu are those
with open halls. Whatever the position of the hall in relation to the rooms, the
fact that there are no precautions against weather conditions such as rain, snow
or wind can be explained by the traditional design of the hall. These are the few remaining examples in evidence that there were once,
houses with open halls in Safranbolu. We can assume that in time
primarily the winter houses changed into the closed-hall plan types, and that
the summer houses followed this new trend.
Characteristics of the Ottoman Classical Period Another important feature
worth noting from the point of historical evolution is that the characteristics
of the classical period prevailed for a considerable time in Safranbolu. The
Baroque style was introduced quite recently and was not very effective.
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE BUllDING SITE
Apart from its utility programme, the form and topography of the building
site, its position in relation to the landscape and the street are the main
factors that influence the house design. There are some differences between the
houses in the sehir (the winter quarters) and the Baglar districts (the
summer quarters) in this respect. The plots in the sehir are small, irregular
and most significantly, they are on sharp inclines; whereas in the Baglar
region they are larger and almost flat. Generally the house is built over the
garden wall bordering the street. On steeper sites this
may take the form of a retaining wall and thus be thicker and higher. Sometimes
it may run up to the mezzanine floor.
In small and irregular
plots, the ground floor corresponds to the shape of the plot. The middle floor
may either have projections in anticipation of the rectangular plan of the top
floor or is rather insignificant as an intermediary floor. On the top floor a strictly rectangular layout is
secured by projections. In
most cases these projections have either a triangular or a trapezoidal base.
Consequently, the supporting brackets can vary in size.
These projections and brackets highly enliven the facades of houses. In small plots it is even more
important to enlarge the rooms through projections. The triangular projections
enable an unobstructed view of the landscape and street. On steeper sites, it is
possible to enter the house from more than one level. These can either be
separate entrances for the harem and selamlik, or can be utilized for easy access
to the storage units in the hayat, where fire-wood or foodstuff is stored. Houses situated on corners where streets of differing slopes meet are
designed in perfect harmony with the topography and the streets. Their thrilling
forms give the impression of having been moulded by a sculptor.
In plots which are more suitable, especially in those of the
Baglar district, all the floors develop within a rectangular system or have somewhat the same features as the
top floor . Very rarely is the top floor
also a continuation of the ground floor.
Generally it is either the eyvan of the central hall or the rooms that protrude.
We may come across houses which in spite of the suitability of the plot, have
chosen to distort the ground floor slightly and enliven the top floors with bay
windows and projections. It can be strongly sensed that the conscious artistic
preferences are as valid as the wish to provide each room with sufficient sun or
shade and with an unobstructed view of the street and landscape.