istanbul’s market systems

This is not quite within the lines of my project, but I thought that the system for construction of Istanbul’s main markets, the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar, was a beautiful example of a simple system used to hold a changing and complex landscape, program and scale of space.

The Spice Market, contained within a neat cross in plan, applies the vaulted structure regularly, with a main barrel vault over the central walkway flanked by individual dome vaults lined up to house each of the shops. The messier Grand Bazaar, with a series of different areas connected by bends, curves and alterations in the vault structure, creates moments of surprise, where one arch divides into two, an abrupt turn requires a quarter of a dome, or large spans rest on columns of varied scale.


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