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Environmental aesthetics of the rural architectural tradition in the Mediterranean highlander settlement: the case study of Ürünlü

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2009
Kavas, Kemal Reha
This thesis formulates a conceptual framework to account for the rural architectural traditions. The proposal is presented by referring to Ürünlü, a Mediterranean highland settlement in Southwestern Turkey. The thesis' basic assumption is the environmental coherence of the traditional rural culture. Environmental aesthetics provides the conceptual basis through which architectural elements of the environmental coherence are investigated. Environmental aesthetics enhances the inclusive conceptions of "environment" as an integral whole merging nature with culture and "aesthetics" as an integrated realm of perceptual engagement with environment. The integrative perspectives of environmental aesthetics unify the phenomenological approach with the concepts of "tectonic syntax" and "pattern language," which have been raised by previous studies of the traditional built environment. This integral conceptual framework is used to derive the conceptual tools. Environmental coherence between the various scale levels of the rural settlement ranging from architectural detail to settlement pattern defines "aesthetics of continuity." The conceptual tools, which are the "tectonic joint," the organic interface and the environmental armature, serve as the successive scale levels on which the architectural elements of the "aesthetics of continuity" are analyzed. This framework is applied to Ürünlü for identifying the spatial articulations of environment as multileveled patterns illustrating culture-specific solutions to contextual problems. Hence, the patterns are reconsidered as the aspects of architectural enculturation. The thesis' proposal for an environmental representation of the settlement concretizes the patterns of integration between the rural architectural tradition and environment and explains the aesthetics of continuity between nature and culture. The intended contribution of the case study is a new theoretical approach generally applicable to the rural settlements.