Throughout and hospitals. His apprentices would later design

Throughout history, many architects have contributedto the evolution of architecture. Some were so phenomenal that they have markeda whole era.

Architects like Sinan have made a difference in this world. Sinanis considered the greatest Ottoman architect of the Ottoman Empire’sArchitectural heritage. Koca Mi’mârSinân Â?â, meaning “Sinan Agha the Grand Architect”, who is more often called MimarSinan in modern day Turkish, was born in either 1489 or 1490, andlived until 1588. He was either born an Armenian or a Cappadocian Greek in thecity of Kayseri in Anatolia. He was the chief Ottoman architect, andcivil engineer for Sultans Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II,and Murad III. He was responsible for the construction of more than 300major structures including schools and hospitals.

His apprentices would laterdesign the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, and help designthe Taj Mahal in the Mughal Empire. Sinan was the son of astonemason. He became a military engineer, and an expert in constructingfortifications and infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, andaqueducts, while he was on the campaign with the Janissaries. He applied the technical skills he had learned in thearmy to the creation of his structures.Sinan wasone of thegreatest architectsever and avery ‘structural’one.

The development and maturing stages of Sinan’s career can be illustrated by three of his major structures: the ?ehzade Mosque, which he calls a work of his apprenticeship period, and the Süleymaniye Mosque, which is the work of his qualification stage, as wellas the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, which he refers to the product of his master stage. Thesethree building illuminate his structural mastery very efficiently. ?ehzade Mosque: HisApprenticeship Period  Accordingto architectural historians, Sinan’s first masterpiece is considered to be the?ehzade Mosque. This 16th century Ottoman imperial mosque is locatedin Istanbul, Turkey. The Sultan,also known as Suleiman theMagnificent, ordered Sinan to build this mosque in memory of hisson ?ehzadeMehmed (?ehzade meaning ”prince” inPersian) who died in his early twenties in the year of 1543. It is sometimes called the “Prince’sMosque” for that reason.

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Sinan was interested with the ideaof having a large central dome. For inspiration, he looked at the plans ofother mosques like the Fatih Pasha Mosque in Diyarbakir and the Piri Mosque in Hasköy.Hewanted from the beginning to centralize his plan, but didn’t want to use twosemi-domes attached to a dome, as in Hagia Sophia. He, therefore, decided to build the ?ehzadeMosque with a central domeand four equal half-domes giving a symmetry on both axes. The mosque is supported by four massive octagonal fluted piers. Ineach lateral wall, there are four piers included.

In addition, four turretsserve as stabilizing anchors in the corners, above roof level. The mosque itself is made from three different materials: cutstone, granite and marble. The colonnaded forecourt (avlu) is marble-paved, and surrounded with a porticoed courtyard1.

Inaddition, there are five domed bays on each side and with arches pink and whitemarble. The Sultan Murat IV,then donated the ablution fountain, known as ?ad?rvan, which was placedat the center. The twin minarets (55 meters in height) have elaborategeometric sculptures in low reliefs, as well as traceriesof the balconies (serefe), and terracotta inlays. The window frames and arches are also made outfrom terracotta.

The dome (37 meters high with a 19-meter diameter) is supportedby four piers. It is double, and carried on a fluted drum. Sinanbegan to develop a new architectural concept. He liked the idea of having avast prayer room of centralized plan covered by a soaring dome, without havingany obstructive piers or columns. In order to hide the buttresses,he adopted the technique of placing colonnaded galleries over the entire lengthof the north and south sides of the building2. Thiswas the first time he had done so. The interior of the mosque is thereby vastand empty, there are no columns, nor galleries.

The mosque itself has asymmetrical plan, with a central dome connected to four semi-domes, one on eachside. The overall plan resembles the shape of a four-leaf clover. Since the four colossal piers needed to support thecentral dome, this technique was not completely deemed to be successful. Forthat reason, it was never done again by Sinan.

Although Sinan referred to SehzadeMosque as his apprentice work, it was the work of ”an apprentice of genius”.He later went on to build even more ambitious structures.Süleymaniye Mosque: His Qualification Stage After having built a mosque for hisson, Sultan Süleyman felt like it was time to build his own imperialmosque. He gave order to Sinan to build a moremonumental mosque, the Süleymaniye. TheSüleymaniye Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii) was also commissioned by SultanSüleyman. Its construction began in 1550 and wascompleted in 1557. It is located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, Turkey. Thismosque is the second largest one in the city.

However, it is smaller in sizethan its older archetype, the Hagia Sophia. It has a blend of Islamic andByzantine architectural elements. It has tall and slender minarets with amassive central dome supported by half domes in the similar style of HagiaSophia, a Byzantine church. The mosque is preceded by a monumental courtyard (avlu) like the other imperial mosques.The courtyard has a colonnaded peristyle with columns of marble, granite andporphyry. At each of its four corners, there are four minarets, a number whichis only acceptable to mosques commissioned by a sultan.

Princes and princessescould use two minarets, and others only one. To indicate that Suleiman I wasthe 10th sultan, the minarets (72 meters high) have a total of 10galleries (serifes). The central dome has a diameter of 27.5 meters, andis 53 meters high. It is pierced by 32 openings, thereby letting lightpass through, and illuminating the mosque’s interior.1 2 Freely,John, and Augusto R. Burelli.

 Sinan: Architect of Su?leyman theMagnificent and the Ottoman Golden Age.  

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