Retracing Our Steps

Today began with a meeting at the Galata Bridge to begin work on our second studio assignment here in Istanbul. We’ve been split up into 10 pairs, with each group analyzing a different theme of Karaköy and Eminönü, the two areas north and south of the Golden Horn. The characteristics we are researching range from the types of food systems available on site, the types of structures on site and their purpose and significance, to the demographics of the people that occupy the spaces. This second project will serve as an additional layer to the experiential observations that we have already made for these two sites, and the end product will be a comprehensive research manual that we will use as a guide for our redesign of these spaces later in the semester. This research and on-site analysis was led by our own Brad Agee, director of the Landscape Architecture program at the U.

Brad Agee sharing his infinite landscape knowledge with us

Brad Agee sharing his infinite landscape knowledge with us.

We spent about four hours getting a great start on our research, meanwhile thoroughly enjoying the glorious sunshine.

Later that afternoon we regrouped at the Hagia Sophia where we were accompanied now by Saygin, our history professor here in Istanbul.

Saygin being too quick for the camera inside the Hagia Sophia.

Saygin being too quick for the camera inside the Hagia Sophia.

After visiting the great mosque/church/museum a few weeks ago as a group with Ozayr, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy another visit to the building. I was pleasantly surprised, however, with Saygin’s fresh take on the building.

My favorite new discovery was seeing how they tried to disguise the crosses in the church when it was transformed into a mosque.

My favorite new discovery was seeing how they tried to disguise the crosses in the church when it was transformed into a mosque.

After our visit to Hagia Sophia, we took a little walk west to the Church of Saints Sergius & Bacchus, a.k.a. the Little Hagia Sofia. The church, similar to the Hagia Sophia, was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman empire, and has a very similar octagonal floor plan and central dome. It was fun to visit this mosque because it was so much smaller than other mosques we have visited, and had a real genuine feel to it. Anddddd right outside we all made a new furry friend who led us towards home!

Shawn playing with said furry friend.

Shawn playing with said furry friend.IMG_5079Just bein’ a goof.

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