Since the beginning of the 19th century, literature has been functioning as an area where architecture is depicted and interpreted. There are many literary works, in which architecture is almost as significantly important as the protagonist. In fact, the ambiance created in the book depends on the depiction of this location. Among these literary works, the most important one may be the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, a novel by Victor Hugo. The novel depicts the Church of Notre Dame de Sion in Paris, in which a fire has recently broke out shocking the world. As is known, this building with a gothic architecture brings a dark, damp and spooky ambiance to the novel. Hugo, the author of the novel, summarized his thoughts about architecture as follows: “Architecture has recorded the great ideas of the human race. Not only every religious symbol, but every human thought has its page in that vast book.” There are also some other works that affect the architecture of the future with an architectural expression rather than depicting what already exists. The New Brave World by Huxley is one of these books. The novel depicts an ideal world, a completely sterilized place where the color pink is widely used, which has inspired many futurist architectural projects of that time. Locations with full of Shining towers, pink windows, faucets running perfume, and artificial materials.

Architecture of mystery in Istanbul

Some part of Murder on the Orient Express, a novel by Agatha Christie, depicts Pera Palace located in Istanbul. Both the city itself and, the Pera Palace Hotel are used together with architectural items to deliver a mysterious atmosphere. This hotel designed by Alexandre Vallaury is a typical post-19th century work in Istanbul affected by the art-nouveau, neo-classic and orientalist styles. The neo-classic approach in the building is also felt in the novel by Christie. Another literary work directly connected with architecture is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. A scientist transformed into a monster is depicted in a location of gothic style which is the best architectural style to tell a story about a monster. And this novel has inspired architect Ruskin to design the Villa Frankenstein in Venice. With the architectural details and adornments, the architect questions the concepts of “right” and “wrong”. This work was also exhibited at the Architectural Bienal in 2010.

Getting inspired from and inspiring life, literature is one of the branches of art that we make use of when shaping our projects.