Turfan Genius Loci: Habitation and Form

Post: In the beginning there was Turfan

Funded by an award from the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT and Harvard University, we traveled to Turfan to study the built environment of the Uygur people, one of the Islamic minorities in China. This project extended our methodology of carefully looking at how people use space, how they inhabit both the private and public realms, and how architecture supports use. In Turfan, located in the Taklamaklan Desert, an interweaving of water, screens and walls modulates the extreme sunlight to make habitable places.

The article is here: Thomas Chastain and Renee Chow (1987) "Observations of Turfan," Places, 4:2, 21-32.