RUMEYSA – Mimar Sinan’s works thoroughly explored in new book

Mimar Sinan’s works thoroughly explored in new bookSinan the Architect is no doubt the greatest figure of Ottoman architecture, while being one of the most prominent names in the genreandrsquos history, especially when it comes to the 16th century. Being quite well known, Mimar Sinan has been explored in various books and academic works.

One of these books has recently been republished by YapI Endustri Merkezi (YEM)YEM was established in 1968, and serves as an information center that provides services to users of building materials, including companies engaged in the production of goods and services, professionals, executives, architects, engineers and contractors. In addition, it has a very extensive collection of publications, from books to catalogs, that serve as great sources for both students and professionals in the field.

One of the most prolific architect-authors, Reha Gunay, who has written many other books under YEM, has penned one of the highest selling books of all time on this great architect, titled andldquoSinan the Architect and His Works.andrdquounay opens the book with the following sentence: andldquoSinanandrsquos name has come to represent the essence of Ottoman architecture.

He lived at a time when the Ottoman Empire was at its zenith, both in terms of political power and artistic production.andrdquo He says that Sinanandrsquos works still ornament the skyline of Istanbul, and even now have not been equaled.

Gunay first covers Sinanandrsquos background with chapters such as andldquoThe Ottoman Empire in Sinanandrsquos time,andrdquo andldquoOttoman architecture before Sinan,andrdquo andldquoA comparative chronologyandrdquo and andldquoThe life of Sinan.andrdquo After painting a picture to better understand Sinan and his works, Gunay then goes on to explore the architectandrsquos works one by one, categorizing them into sections.

He lists religious complexes of Sinanandrsquos in Haseki, IehzadebaII, Suleymaniye, Luleburgaz, uskudar and even in Damascus.After this section, Gunay continues on to mosques, and divides them into subsections according to their architectural characteristics, which are: square-based single-domed mosques, square-based semi-domed mosques, hexagon-based mosques, octagon-based mosques and multi-domed mosques.

In this section 20 mosques are focused on, with their locations, plans and specific features detailed. Additionally, Gunay explains Sinanandrsquos style by giving examples from medreses, tombs, public kitchens, hospitals, public baths, caravanserais, guesthouses, bridges, water supply systems, pavilions and palaces.

Gunay later gives important information on the architectural analysis of Sinanandrsquos work, which is itself another section, where technical issues such as interior space, architectural drawings, space-structure relation, bearing systems, techniques and materials are covered in a very detailed and informative way. The book consists of all the works of Sinan that are still standing, while works that have lost their original form or been put to use other than their original one have been excluded.

One of the biggest aantages of andldquoSinan the Architect and His Worksandrdquo is the way Gunay combines technical and practical information with clear and reader-friendly visuals such as photos, drawings and plans. The book is for sure a treasure for those who have a direct connection to architecture, but it is also a great pleasure for anyone else who has an interest in this great architect or buildings of the Ottoman era in general.

Through Sinan and his works, Gunay provides a comprehensive set of data, so that the reader can interpret not only Sinanandrsquos works but also the characteristics of many other architectural structures. Henry Matthews, the writer of another interesting book, titled andldquoBringing Ottoman Architecture into the Mainstream,andrdquo writes about Gunayandrsquos style thus: andldquoIn his book, andlsquoSinan The Architect and His Works,andrsquo Reha Gunay modestly makes no claim to interpret the architectandrsquos work, but presents his data with useful comments, in a way that encourages his readers to form their own interpretations.

andrdquoOverall, Gunayandrsquos book stands as one of the most comprehensive resources on Sinan and his work. Its coverage of background information as well as technical and specialized details build up an in-depth and lively flow for the reader, who is also presented with amazing visuals of Sinanandrsquos masterpieces.

The curiosity the book triggers for Sinan starting from the early pages is met to a certain extent in the sections following, with the finest details from his works, his trademark techniques and unique ornaments, while it also leads the reader to discover more by seeing Sinanandrsquos miracles with their own eyes.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman