Aim: This study aims to determine the architectural approach of Architect Sinan in primary school design by comparing the architectural features of 8 primary schools which are designed by Architect Sinan in architectural complexes (külliye) in Istanbul and exist until now. Method: The survey drawings of the existing buildings are prepared via fieldwork. These buildings are compared by using the survey drawings which are placed on sheets split into 1 zira (architectural ell) length squares as it was in that era. Results: There are mainly two types of primary schools of Architect Sinan. Single-roomed primary schools have square plan, entrance portico and dome. Double-roomed primary schools consist of two classrooms, one of which is closed and the other is semi-open and these classrooms have different roofing systems and complex mass designs (shape designs). These masonry buildings are similar to each other in terms of plain façade surfaces and form and materials of windows and doors. When the buildings are analysed dimensionally, it is found that adjoining rooms unite with each other with a proportion and it is probable that 1 zira length module was used in the design of these primary schools. Conclusion: It is observed that single-roomed primary schools are similar to each other in the contexts of space organisation and mass design, but double-roomed primary schools are unique design examples in the contexts of the organisation of two spaces and complex mass design. It is also determined that all buildings have modular design approach. During the fieldwork, it has been determined that there are various conservation problems in the primary schools due to improper interventions and restorations. It is important to preserve and sustain these unique buildings, designed by Architect Sinan for young children, by preserving their original architectural features and giving a new function for children.
Keywords: Architect Sinan, Architectural Complex, Primary School, Modular Design, Ottoman Architecture