Apart from the mosques, cities were also developed into “extremely friendly cities”. They had grape arbors in shaded narrow streets, corners with trees and gardens. Trees were thought to be the balancing element of architecture that provided harmony between nature and buildings. For that reason, Ottoman cities “look as though they are extensions of the piece of land where they were built”. Also the usage of timber in the buildings add to the connection with nature.  A Turkish architect and city planner, Turgut Cansever, described the Ottoman cities as the “Ottoman paradises‟ and said that the Islamic characteristics are best represented by the Ottoman cities. “The ones who build the paradise where there exist no conflicts but all the beauties, tried to rise and open the Gates of paradise by accomplishing the task of beautifying the world.”  The intimate relationship of architecture with nature attracted the element of trees and water. With its exclusively natural “synthesis structure”, the Ottoman city was green, as many travelers have described it.  Also, water was a fundamental element, as was the cypress tree. Antoine Galland wrote, “Turkish gardens were conduits and little channels which took water everywhere and from which water was extracted under pressure.”  However, there is no evidence in the first four centuries of Islam that gardens were consciously designed with four quadrants and four water channels in order to represent paradise as the Qur'an described it. 
Gund Hall’s studio trays form both the physical and pedagogical core of the GSD experience, drawing together students and faculty from across the departments of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design. The creative, collaborative atmosphere of the trays is supplemented by Gund Hall’s advanced information infrastructure, media-enriched presentation spaces, vast library resources, and open access to fabrication technologies, enabling architecture students to develop, discuss, exchange, and materialize ideas through a comprehensive range of platforms and media. The student experience is further enriched by the School’s renowned lecture and public program series, exhibitions, and publications, as well as the resources available across Harvard University and the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Students in the Department of Architecture are integrated into an active network of internationally recognized designers, dedicated to addressing the changing needs of the modern world.