Revisiting Sedad Hakkı Eldem’s Taşlık Coffeehouse and the Amcazade Köprülü Hüseyin Paşa 214 Seaside Mansion: A Numerical Analysis Based on Fractal Dimensions

Lionar M. L. , Ediz Ö. M.

Mimarlıkta Sayısal Tasarım, XV. Ulusal Sempozyumu, İstanbul, Turkey, 28 - 29 June 2021, pp.214-222

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.214-222
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Taşlık Coffeehouse can be considered as one of the most famous works of Sedad Hakkı Eldem. The building was the Turkish architect’s attempt of modernizing and abstracting the classical Turkish architecture from the past. In this regard, Eldem’s design of the Coffeehouse referred and took inspiration from a specific and significant example of classical Turkish architecture: The Seaside Mansion of Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa. Scholars have observed the striking formal, visual, and aesthetical resemblances between these two structures, and Eldem did also admit that he designed the Coffeehouse as a modern version of the Mansion. However, these observations of similarities are mostly qualitative and descriptive; a more quantitative complementary analysis may provide more insight from other perspective, and may confirm these observations.

This present study investigates the similarities between the Taşlık Coffeehouse and the Seaside Mansion of Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa in a more numerical and mathematically measurable approach using fractal dimension analysis. The visual complexities of these structures were calculated in terms of both the spatial arrangement (represented in floor plan) and the elevational design (represented in elevations). The results of the calculations were then compared to determine the degree of similarity. Furthermore, this study also utilized a particular methodological approach, in which the elevations of the buildings were depicted in five hierarchical layers or degrees of visual complexity: silhouette, mass order, structure, elevational elements, and material texture. This approach was meant to investigate whether the suggested similarities can be found in all levels of visual complexity or only in certain level(s).

The numerical and mathematical results demonstrate that there are indeed similarities in terms of visual complexity between the Taşlık Coffeehouse and the Seaside Mansion of Amcazade Hüseyin Paşa. The similarities were found in both the plans and the elevations. Furthermore, the elevational similarities were found in a relatively evenly distributed manner across all levels of visual complexity. These results demonstrate that the formal and visual resemblance suggested by the scholars can indeed be measured and confirmed in a quantitative manner by using fractal dimension analysis. However, visual complexity is only one of numerous visual properties which form the whole aesthetic of architectural works. Thus, this study may be expanded in future works by including more comprehensive analysis on other aspects as well. It is also possible to conduct similar analyses on other works of Eldem; therefore, it is possible to compose a more coherent narrative on his architectural approach.