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Beyond Shelter: Anatolian Indigenous Buildings


Beyond Shelter: Anatolian Indigenous Buildings, By Kemal Aran Tepe Architectural Culture Centre, 2000. 224pp. £14 & £5p&p. (Orders to dergi21@superonline. com)

Anatolia has many remaining settlements of indigenous housing, writes Barrie Evans .The region is also very varied climatically, from arid planes to steep, wet hillsides.And the buildings reflect this: the heavyweight and the lightweight, sheltering from the heat and the rain - some timber, some stone, some earth.

This book - mainly in photographs, often with dwelling plans - is a labour of love.Aran records the buildings' typology and the oftenelaborate marks of individuality and tradition.His text draws on Christopher Alexander's pattern language to record how parts are habitually used and related.

Aran has obviously been inside many of these houses, but people very rarely appear in the photographs and their voices are not heard in the text.Taken together, the pictures have some of the eerie silence of the Marie Celeste.

The author is content to make a record.He does not speculate on whether this tradition can survive or on the potential for today's professional designers to learn from it.

Clearly times are changing.Some of the carefully framed shots of settlements do show the incursion of more modern orthogonal shapes, larger developments, and materials such as corrugated iron.

This collection, started in the 1950s, is a valuable, timely record.

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