VOL: 5  NO: 1, 12-30 2008-1


A shape grammar algorithm and educational software to analyze classic Ottoman mosques



Sinan Mert ÞENER, Emine GÖRGÜL

Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Architecture Istanbul TURKEY



Received: August 2007                             Final Acceptance: May 2008




This work introduce, a shape grammar algorithm and custom-made software that has been accepted as a part of the fulfillment of master of architecture degree thesis in ITU, titled ‘A Shape Grammar Algorithm and Educational Software to analyze and understand the composition of Classic Ottoman Mosques’. This software, -a closed system shape grammar example- is distinguished with the possibility that it provides to run the shape grammar algorithm through a Delphi-based system. This study has been held to generate a model to establish a logical framework of an educational expert system, which can be a foundation for future programming exercises of artificial intelligence.

Mosques, which signify the power of the Ottoman Empire during its golden age, have been constructed using the latest technology of its time as well as high-aesthetics, which is still appreciated today. Fast forward to 20th century, especially after 1980’s increasing numbers of “new” mosques, attempting to emulate the qualities of mosques built during the Classical Period, fell short on achieving the authentic design principles, because of their disharmonious proportions and shapes. The mentioned software has been designed to guide and enlighten architects who are new to the profession as well as need information on this topic.

This software visualizes the principles on proportioning the mass of Classical Mosques in 3D, and explains the configuration rules of the components in typology. During the design stage, the software introduces all the components of the mosque as building blocks in a defined hierarchy. Therefore by using this software, users can start from the most essential component, the ‘dome’ and reach to a final product that is composed according to the basic design principles, and correctly configured components.


Keywords: Shape grammar, classical Ottoman Mosques, proportions of mosque, programming, direct X


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