Turkish Pavilion and Mosques: its place in England
English sought new ideas in various areas of Turkish architecture on the Ottoman lands and they tried to get started with some of these ideas, besides Turkish baths. In the mid-sixteenth century Christopher Wren, the famous english architect, for himself, wanted Dudley North who lived in ?stanbul to learn about the construction technique of the Turks, especially mosque domes. Even though Christopher Wren wanted to use the information North gathered for construction of St. Pauls Church’s dome, He didn’t find the information sufficient. In the book, published by James Elmes, was quoted from the writings of Christopher Wren and James Elmes reflected that the domes which started with Hagia Sofia was built monumentally in ?stanbul and east countries and he also presented some of its structured analysis.
Quoted from John Evelyn’s diary, Elmes mentioned that Christopher Wren, Sir John Hoskyns and John Evelyn, the members of Royal Society, visited to get information about oriental architecture and dome making from Sir John Chardin, settled in England and the famous with memories and observations about east. Sir Chardin welcomed them with orient clothes, However, he talked about constructions of Greek and Rome rather than constructions of the Turks. Later on, Sir John Evelyn, in his book, wrote down that the dome built in Hagia Sofia had been developed by the Turks afterwards. In the eighteenth century , the Turkish architecture had been adopted as a plan rather than technical, and it became the main topic of Rokoko period.
As part of these fancies, English reflected in their buildings attractive miniature examples of Turkish mosques which they interested in architectural areas. In the gardens and parks, small Turkish pavilions were built beside the buildings looking like Greek and Roman temples. Even if it was not clearly called Turkish structure in the architecture books of the year, Turkish pavilions were observed. For example, the books, which contains plan and section drawings, were published by John Evelyn, William Jones, Charles Over and John Soan were evidences of Turkish pavilions in England. Some of these books contained the designs reflecting Turkish styles with domes. In the eighteenth century, there was a Turkish tent with an excellent inlaid pattern in London. In addition to this, the Turkish tent could be observed in Painshill and Belle Vue as well.
Built by Sir William Chambers, well-known architect, in Surrey, for the prince and princess of Wales, Kew Gardens included Turkish mosques, domes, pavilions and a Chinese pagoda. The mosque, which is next to the pagoda, was designed and built by Sir Chambers in 1761. This miniature mosque, was designed to fit into one of three islands created in an artificial lake and consisted of three parts. In the middle of the building, there was a main space with an octagonal plan and there were two small sides on either side. The building was covered with two small domes. However, on the big dome there was a crescent. Although Chambers tried to stay loyal to the character of Turkish architecture in the exterior of the building, he told that he designed the interior in a different way. In 1796, in a research conducted there, it was written down that this building was demolished because of being irreparable. This garden, which was built by chief architect, Chambers, was called as ”Turkish Heaven” besides of Kew Gardens. We learn that from a poem which was written in those times.