History and Characteristics of Construction Techniques Used in Traditional Timber Ottoman Houses

Şahin Güçhan N.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE, vol.12, no.1, pp.1-20, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15583058.2017.1336811
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-20
  • Keywords: Himis, Ottoman house, shimis, timber house, timber-frame house, traditional timber house, Turkish house, RESISTANCE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this article is to make a comprehensive review of the traditional timber house constructions in Turkey, which constitutes the majority of the existing Ottoman architectural legacy. After a short historical background focused on the Ottoman territory, the first section explores regional differences in the housing tradition, developed according to local features and defined by architectural features, material characteristics, and availability of materials. Derived from these regional differences, in the second section diversity in traditional timber construction systems in Turkey is described with special emphasis on the Ottoman himis system. In this part, besides the discussion of the himis technique which spread over Ottoman lands from the Balkans to Syria, the timber masonry and frame systems of the Eastern Black Sea Region and Thrace are presented in detail with visual support.