Sinan and the urban space in 16th century Istanbul

The aim of this presentation is to analyze some specific aspects of the Ottoman architecture, developed during the 16th Century, through the works and the masterpieces made by Sinan the Great. In particular, an inquiry on the major works of the master in the Ottoman cities like Istanbul or Edirne, shows the agenda of the Sultans to define the centers of their power. The areas of the Historical Peninsula, Galata district and Üsküdar, have been defined as cases study for urban transformations of Istanbul. Istanbul is one of the best examples in which Sinan was able to design and to build complexes, mosques, public baths, schools, inns and so on. As responsible for public works, engineer of bridges and water supply systems, Sinan became a sort of ‘city planner’ of that time, by designing urban features and elements that fitted very well in the urban texture. Moreover, the figure of Sinan as a great master builder – and not only – is here presented. Through the examples of his major works is underlined his cleverness and ability to choose the places for his designs according to the Sultans’ patronage and to decide, case by case, the best solutions for the planning of the area. In this frame Sinan can be considered as a leader in the development of the classical Ottoman architecture, within his important role in the territorial organization and administration as well, especially during the Suleiman the Magnificent’s reign, from 1520 to 1566, that was a period of great artistic and marvelous architectural achievements.

BIO | Luca Orlandi is an architect and an architecture historian. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at University of Genoa (Italy) and then he obtained in 2005 a PhD from the Polytechnics of Turin (Italy), within the program of History and Critics of the Architectural and Environmental Heritage. He lives in Istanbul where he teaches History of European Architecture and Contemporary Architecture as Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at Istanbul Technical University. He often participates in lectures, seminars and workshops in other Turkish universities like Marmara University and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and cooperates with some Italian Universities as well, like Genoa University, Polytechnics of Milan and Ferrara University.


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