Location: Adana, Turkey
Architectural Project: Sard Studio
Project Team: Murat Sökün, Ceren Sökün
Structural Design: ATTEC
Building Type: Residential
Construction Area: 160m²
Year: 2018
Status: Built
Photographs: Cemal Emden

This structure, consisting of single-story, steel-frame-reinforced masonry walls, and a timber roof, was constructed with sustainable design and engineering model in Adana Danişment. In this project, we worked with ATTEC Structural Engineering. The house was built with stones in the area, bricks salvaged from old structures, steel, and wood. The entire exterior was created with stone walls reinforced by bricks and reinforced concrete beams. The main bearing system of the building is laminated wooden roof beams and panels on steel columns and beams. Thin steel rods were used for tensioning purposes in order to capture the appearance of a thin timber roof over a large volume in the ridge of the building with a total of 160m² of the seating area. Glulam beams were used sideways in tongue-and-groove connection to create both rigid roof structure and interior finish.

Danişment House is constructed within a mandarin orchard in Danişment Village in Yüreğir, which is a district of Adana, at a distance of 25 km to the city centre. The house is designed as a weekend house that the client can both stay at over the weekends and use as a recreation area during daily orchard visits.

Considering the climate conditions of the region, we took our first step with the idea of constructing a stone house to make the best of climatic advantages of stone walls. We preferred natural materials for the structure to the extent possible and applied them by using traditional construction techniques so that those materials fit to the context. In this structure consisting of single-story, steel-frame-reinforced masonry walls and a timber roof, a sustainable design and engineering model was adopted. The house was built with local stones of the region, bricks salvaged from old structures, steel, and wood. The main bearing system of the building is composed of laminated wooden roof beams and panels on steel columns and beams.

The layout of the house was determined by adjusting the margins for front and back yards to be formed, in addition to the existing vineyard within the land borders previously identified for the building within the orchard. The spatial organisation started to take its form following the adoption of decisions for the materials and the bearing system to be used.

Considering the hot air during the summer, we came up with the idea of constructing a second living space at the back of the house where the northeast facade of the building. Setback distances of the back yard were arranged so that, if the client wishes to construct a guest house in the future, a small court can be created at the back of the structure.


We decided to construct the walls by adhering to the traditional masonry work techniques and making use of the masonry workmanship of the stone masters in the region, form a bearing system integrated with steel and wood, and have the entire roof load (wind, earthquake, etc.) borne by a structure, and this system supported with stone walls.

We managed to carry on a integrated design process in close contact with the static team in every stage of the architectural design process. In those meetings where main decisions concerning the structural design were taken, we had long discussions on details with respect to the combination of steel and wood, while sketches constituting the basis of type details were coming in sight. Thus, unique details that constitute the most distinct characteristic of the structure were put on the table, and we have had almost no problem in implementing those details in the field.

We made our choice of materials among those of “local” nature with a potential to last long, which can give life to other succeeding structures, aiming to bring those materials together in a harmony. With the very same thought, in creating the wall texture, we used flat handmade bricks salvaged from old Adana houses that gave life to other structures before this one. We believed that the texture to be created by those used bricks of unique nature will strengthen the sense of belonging to the “place” where the structure is located.


We started off by looking into the closest quarry, local stonemasons and their abilities. As traditional masonry techniques had not been recently applied in the region, we invited  an experienced stonemason İmran Akmil, who has completed a number of works in the Aegean region, to Adana and sought his consultancy for a short period in order to decide on the masonry. We adapted what we learned from İmran Akmil to our region, facilities and materials. Thanks to past experiences and stone mastership of Yılmaz Çiçek, who is  a local stonemason, we created our unique texture and thus completed the stonework.

Danisment House Structural Design Approach (Ahmet Topbaş)

Early in the design, we put our heads together as the architect and the engineer for the structural systems and materials. We’ve had lively and progressive discussions about how to develop local craftsmanship, fabrication skills, and the timber to be shipped from out-of-town. These were all laid down on the table for discussion, to make a better sustainable example and to provide advanced economy and constructability in various scales.

While we pinned down the path for optimum stone craftsmanship, the quarry works and salvaged brick resources, we also thoroughly investigated the formulas for a structure incorporating heavy stone walls with other structural materials working together. We therefore classified the structures into primary and secondary, also into minimum on-site and maximum off-site works. These principals turned into the systems that we see today in the finished structure. Steel frames would carry the timber (glulam) tied-beams or trusses, which then supported the flat-laid glulam roof diaphgram beams. Not using any steel bracing, wood purlins, false ceilings, underside cladding, or roof decking, the flat-laid glulams were tongue-and-grooved to one another before screwing to provide for all these functions. The flat roof surface created by the 100mm-thick glulams created a great structural roof diaphgram, and a base for waterproofing, heat insulation and shingling. You can experience the pure and solid structure from below while enjoying the warmth as an interior decoration.

The stone walls were supported on the 40cm thick mat foundation vertically, while at the roof level, they were stabilized for any lateral or out-of-plane forces by the steel beams. So the steel frame beams double-acted as facade tie beams or spandrels. The steel columns were embedded in the wall plane double-acting as facade support posts. The walls being really rigid in their plane, provided extra stability to the embedded steel columns, which also helped laying the stone work as border elements of the bond. Steel, stone, and wood supported each other as solid load bearing primary and secondary structures, while they became the main definitive character of the architecture.