Architectural experience and “Existential Sense”: Analysis of some architectural patterns in Eminönü with their sociocultural context

Alan, Alperen
Experiencing architecture is closely related to awareness of human life. This awareness occurs through our understanding of the built environment, basically with our senses: sound, smell, tactile, taste, etc. The multiplicity of senses has been the topic of experiential relationships in architectural research, especially in the last century. However, the domination of architecture's sight and visual formations creates a restriction on experiencing the architectural and built environments better. Although vision is considered the most important sense in architectural experience, Juhani Pallasmaa states that the existential sense is the most vital. This is existentially grounded on the experience of our embodied sense of being and self, rather than a multiplicity of senses. The life of people becomes more explicit in their social and cultural context. Social life patterns, social behaviors, etc. are important parameters that give clues about human life and their both physical and social environment. In order to emphasize the significance of existential sense in human life in the concept of architectural experience, this study will use Christopher Alexander and his colleagues’ patterns as architectural environments which give messages about the living atmospheres, social and cultural life images as well as existential senses of people. The research aims to make an inquiry for understanding the relation between architectural patterns and sociocultural environment in terms of “existential sense” in architectural experience. To do that, some patterns are researched in this context from Istanbul’s socioculturally rich neighborhood Eminönü. In light of the examinations, it is emphasized that the existentially grounded experience approach to architecture creates an alternative understanding to show architecture's poetic, sensual and humanistic power.


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Citation Formats
A. Alan, “Architectural experience and “Existential Sense”: Analysis of some architectural patterns in Eminönü with their sociocultural context,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2022.