Framework Construction of Safranbolu Houses

Wooden Houses of Anatolia

Framework Construction of Safranbolu Houses


It has been a matter of great importance to present the disappearing values in a place like Anatolia where different civilizations met and history was deeply experienced as well as protecting these values.

The aim of this study is to invetigate the wooden frame work walls of traditional Safranbolu Houses, which have a significant place in our traditional architecture heritage.

This study was put into practice in two different regions of Safranbolu, which has been one of the traditional sample areas of Anatolia, and been able to protect its nature without having much destruction. The reason for choosing these two regions in the borders of historical protection areas is their reflecting the history, construction culture, economy, life style and technology of Turkish society. These two regions are Çarşı (city) used as a winter residence and Bağlar used as a summer residences.

In order to be able to reach objective results; samples were determined with the method of gratis; being 30 in city part which has more dense settlement structure and 20 in Bağlar region. For each sample, numerical data were joined as a result of measurement and roleve studies. After analyzing the gained data wooden framework walls, filing material and their proportions in that region were revealed.


Wooden frameworked walls are the systems in which loads in the wall structure were transferred to the ground through wooden strut and beans.

In the study, considering strut gaps and filling material, four different systems were found out.

1- Adobe filled walls
2- Wooden filled walls
3- Stone filled walls
4- Stone Adobe Filled walls

Adobe Filled, Wooden Frameworked Walls:

This system has the most strut gap in the region. There is a measurement integrity between the struts in the corners and windows considering both gaps and cross-section dimensions. Among the struts whose gaps are between 70-75 cm, the average of cross-section dimensions is 15x11.7. In these determinations the following result was obtained.

There is a close relationship between the distance among vertical carriers and strut cross-section dimensions; cross-section spaces increased as long as strut gaps increased.

Horizontal elements (bracings, 11x7) were arranged only in the lower and upper parts of the window siding =(19x9) came together with the lower floor by cutting the window edge strut from the middle parts of the corner strut.

Joint sidings which support the sidings which especially occur in stone filled samples are out of question in adobe filled systems. On the other hand, sidings effective against horizontal loading were made to be more effective by wing in horizontal system.

Filling-Adobe whose raw material is sand and straw was used both in he horizontal direction and perpendicular direction considering the cavity. Determined adobe dimensions are 27x27x10 cm, 27x22x10 cm, 27x13x10 cm.

Adobe filled walls plastered from internal and external and external sides form 54% of the houses included in this study, on the other hand samples having 70-75 cm. strut gap form 25% of these houses.

Wooden Filled Walls:

Among the carrier struts wood was used as a filling element. Filling wood is, in a way, are evaluation of the demolished lattice framework elements. This construction material provided from old constructions took place in the lattice framework in the horizontal and perpendicular directions without having a system. In this system the distance between vertical carriers is in different measurements like 40-45, 70-75. Horizontal elements, in wooden filled, frameworked walls having 13x10 cross-section dimensions, were put in only the lower and upper parts of the door and window cavities.

In the extent of this study, there are few samples of wooden filled constructions in Bağlar region.

Stone Filled Walls:

In this system, the number of vertical carriers was increased, and cross section places of intermediate struts, out of the ones situated in the corner and door edges, were decreased. This gap, without considering main and secondary changes between 20-25 cm from axle to axle.

The reason for the contraction of these gaps is to make the filling material made of stone breaks enable to stay in its place. The average corner strut cross-section was determined to be 14.5x10.3 cm. and item strut was determined to be 12x6 cm.

Horizontal elements, especially the ones found in the stone filled samples belonging to the recent period, were used along the whole wall except for the lower and upper parts of the windows and doors.

Filling stones are provided from the streams and slopes. They were filled with stone or stone breaks called “küfünk or yegdane stone” in the regional speech. In these houses, most of which are left without being plastered, after the framework is finished, the outer part of the lattice framework is built with mud mortar by nailing wood structure.

In this study, even though the proportion of stone filled walls most of whose samples are found mostly in Bağlar region, is 41%, the proportion of stone filled walls whose strut gap is 20-25 is 18%.

The connection of lattice framework elements is enabled with blacksmith nail, in some samples, there are notches on the floor edge. Siding having 12x9 dimensions are not connected to the lower ground buy cutting the lower and upper ground as in the Middle Europe and American system, but are connected cutting one edge to the corner strut in the window upper spot height level, and the lower edge to the window corner strut.

Siding system apart from its having a different system from Middle Europe and American system better precautions were taken between the stone filled type and adobe and wooden filled types, especially in the stone filled samples.

From the point in which window edge strut intersects with siding to the point in which corner strut intersects with lower floor, two different sidings were arranged. In these arrangements, there comes lower edge to the joining part of the window upper heading (bracing) and corner strut, and there comes upper edge to the connection part of window edge strut and upper floor.

In stone filled samples, intermediate struts were cut by horizontal elements going on along the wall.

Stone-Adobe Filled Frameworked Walls:

Carrier struts were put in the corners and door-window edges by considering the joins of two intersecting walls. Taking the material, which will be filled in the walls secondary struts were placed. Two different systems were determined.

1- Samples whose strut gaps are 30-35 cm.
2- Samples whose strut gaps are 40-45 cm.

In the first type system, struts having 14x11 cross-section dimensions were divided with two secondary struts whose average cross-section dimensions were 11x8 cm. In these samples whose strut gap is between 30-35 cm, the amount of stone filled houses is more than adobe filled houses. Stone filled samples is 17.3%, adobe filled samples is 0.65% siding system is the same with the stone filled constructions whose strut gap is 20-25 cm.

In the second type system, strut’ gaps were divided with one secondary strut. Between the secondary strut and main strut, there is very little difference in terms of workmanship and cross-section areas. In these constructions, whose main strut cross-section dimensions are 14x12 cm, and secondary strut cross-section dimensions are 12x10 cm, filling material is mostly adobe. In many ways, it is similar to adobe filled frameworked constructions. In this system in which strut gap is 45 cm, the proportion of adobe filled samples is 24%, and stone filled samples is 11%.


Internal Partition Walls show differences based on the used materials.

- Stone and adobe filled frameworked walls
- Adobe piled walls
- Adobe plated walls

Stone and adobe filled frameworked walls; to specific gaps, after door blank were left as in the outer surface, vertical struts are placed. The gaps in he carrier struts are plastered after being filled with adobe and stone breaks. Horizontal and cross lattice framework elements were used less compared to the outer surfaces.

Adobe filled walls; they are the walls which go over the stone and adobe walls on the ground floor and have got a fireplace.

Wooden plated internal partition walls; in this type which was put into practice in wet volumes, wood was not connected with a special tenon method but with blacksmith nails. Plating wood used both in the horizontal and perpendicular directions are of 2-4 cm. width. Samples shaped in this way were determined to be in the toilets making porch in Bağlar region, a summer residence of Safranbolu.


Differences of material and construction in the walls of ground floor was observed in the walls of living floor.

There are differences between cross section of strut and strut gaps according to the filling materials.

Strut gaps were determined as 70-75 cm. in the walls filled with adobe but 20-25 cm. in stone filled walls.

It was determined that the walls filled with adobe had been plastered with mud but stone filled walls had not.

Şeref KAYA
Researcher Z.K.Ü.Safranbolu Vocational School

Burhanettin UYSAL
Assch. Prof. Dr. Z.K.Ü.Safranbolu Vocational School

Asist Prof. Dr. KTÜ Faculty of Architecture