The “courtyard house”: a spatial reading of domestic architecture in ancient Anatolia and Greece

Bilge, Elif
The courtyard house is one of the oldest dwelling types in the history of domestic architecture with examples found in geographies as diverse as the Middle East, Mediterranean, South America and Far East. While, in its early use, the courtyard was planned, most likely, as a protective space against wild animals and weather it has developed into a more sophisticated space, assuming further functions and regulating relationships. The aim of this study is to establish a spatial framework for evaluating and comparing the design and use of courtyard houses in ancient Anatolia and Greece in terms of focusing on the courtyard as a generic, adaptable and useful domestic space. The time span covers examples built in the Classical Period, in the 5th and the 4th BC. The design, use and architectural development of the courtyard house, in relation to the recurring spaces and their spatial relationships is discussed in reference to a group of better documented ancient sites corresponding to this time frame and include Priene, Kolophon, Klazomenai, Pergamon, Burgaz, Larissa and Latmos from Anatolia and Athens, Olynthus, Halieis, Morgantina, Piraeus and Abdera from Greece. By focusing on spatial aspects such as form, placement, size, decoration and functional aspects, the study provides a comparative reading of the case study houses in ancient Anatolia and Greece through the spatial nature of their courtyards, which provides an alternative reading to the studies based on typology.


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Citation Formats
E. Bilge, “The “courtyard house”: a spatial reading of domestic architecture in ancient Anatolia and Greece,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2019.