Contemporary Timber Window Solutions in Traditional Turkish Houses


  • Fatih Yazıcıoğlu


windows, u-values, emissions, counter-balance systems, Traditional Turkish houses


Traditional Turkish houses are known with their unique architectural character within a wide perspective, comprising different detail solutions. The character of these houses is mainly shaped by the place and context they are located. Geographical conditions, such as climate, sun, and wind, together with the cultural factors dominate the planning of these houses in different scales. Organization of the facade and especially the windows and doors, are some of the important attributes of these houses. Within this framework, this paper aims to question and analyse timber window solutions of traditional Turkish houses. Because of the different configurations of traditional Turkish Houses this paper is limited with the houses located in Istanbul, Bosporus. Firstly, traditional wooden houses, called ‘köşk’, of Bosporus will be introduced. The visual relation of the house with the outer world and mahalle, starts from the road they are located in with their entrance door and continues through their inner hall ‘sofa’; and continues back to the road with the views from the windows. This introduction shows the importance and dominance of the windows in traditional Bosporus houses. The timber window solutions of these houses allow the visual relation with their wide openings which bring several challenges about the details of the windows. The weight of the sashes is an example for these challenges. Without a mechanical support operating the sashes are a hard and tiring activity, hence sometimes counterbalance systems were used in the original details. Today in the restoration and reconstructions by using contemporary technological solutions these kinds of side effects can be surpassed. In the paper, a traditional house reconstruction in Bosporus is introduced by focusing its timber window solutions. In this project, the form and size of the windows are the same as the original traditional house so that the visual relation of the house with its surrounding, and the overall original character of the building continues. By the implication of contemporary detail solutions for its timber window, like the usage of hydraulic pumps, double glazing, aluminium roller shutters, etc. its performance is improved significantly. The performance of the window system is evaluated and tentative proposals for the reconstructions, and restorations will be made.


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How to Cite

Yazıcıoğlu, F. (2014). Contemporary Timber Window Solutions in Traditional Turkish Houses. ICONARCH International Congress of Architecture and Planning, (ICONARCH-2, Proceeding Book), 500–509. Retrieved from