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Christopher Alexander's concept of "living structure": theories of "wholeness" and "centers" and its application to traditional Kastamonu houses

Biçer Melez, Yasemin
This thesis aims to gain an insight to the properties that make a “living structure” and examine these properties and the concept of “living structure” in traditional Kastamonu Houses in the light of Christopher Alexander’s theories of “wholeness” and “centers”. Especially in the last century, building activity has become a significant field with the developments in the construction techniques and technology. In this way, human life is being shaped also, beside the earth. The traditional housing fabric, which is the heritage of years of experience and the reflection of the lifestyle of a particular society, is being neglected. In any part of the world, the number of the buildings, resembling each other so much, increases; and most of the time, they lack the values that support the quality of life. Within the scope of this thesis, first of all, Alexander’s definition of “order”, theories of “wholeness” and “centers”, concept of “living structure” are studied. Then, traditional Kastamonu houses are analyzed, both visually and spatially; and properties that make a “living structure” are examined. The relation between “living structure” and “expression of self” and the importance of “belonging to own time and place” are put forward. Then, how different centers are united together by the help of these features is seen. This study helps to understand, how to create more sensitive environments to live by studying and understanding traditional housing concepts before losing them totally. Moreover, it emphasizes the values of traditional Kastamonu houses, which support the quality of life.