English Summary by Derin İnan

MİMARLIK . 340 | March-April 2008




On IAPS-CSBE Culture and Space in the Built Environment Network Meetings: City, Culture and Dwelling Symposium / Hülya Turgut


Parallel to the events of the international organization; IAPS-CSBE Culture and Space in the Built Environment Network, this year the national Turkish section has started to organize certain events. In this regard, Culture and Space Meeting series have started to host various national symposiums and Culture and Space Design Studios, which is open to the undergraduate and graduate students. The first national symposium was held in İstanbul between 14th and 16th December 2007 under the theme “City, Culture and Dwelling”. Organized in cooperation with many architecture schools the symposium was chaired by Prof. Dr. Hülya Turgut Yıldız and Prof. Dr. Ahmet Eyüce. In her review of the symposium Yıldız summarizes the main goals of the meeting as: to be able to look at the changing urban space from a social and socio-cultural perspective and to be able to conceive rapidly changing dwelling environments and socio-cultural, spatial variety from many different perspectives.



A Phone Call / Güven Birkan


Birkan’s article starts with a telephone conversation, where the subject matter is the recent local elections in the İstanbul Metropolitan Branch of the Chamber of Architects of Turkey. The dialog brings back the memories of the author, the times they spent in the Chamber elections thirty five years ago, right after the March 12 coup d'état. The article tells the story of the difficult times when the Chamber tried to evoke democratic oppositions towards the government and therefore having hard time with the military and armed forces. However the solidarity between the members and their acquaintances is worth telling.


FILE: How Far Can We Sustain Sustainable Architecture?
Ed: Ayşen Ciravoğlu
Today we are facing a rapid decrease in the natural resources, food, clean water and energy supplies due to the industrialization, rise of population and consumption models. The human damage on the environment is not merely visible any more but it has come to all our senses. We can assume that the sooner we became aware of these future dangers it will help us to follow a positive progress in scrutinizing our production and consumption models. In result of these changes environmental approaches have started to come foreground in many sectors in the society from administrative organs to governmental enterprises and employers. It is a fact that similar worries on environmental issues are in the agenda of architecture for more than forty years.
In spite of all the researches and disputes on the subject, we don’t seem to achieve any goals especially in the field of environmental architecture in our country. Therefore the file tries to open up a discussion platform through the notion of ‘sustainability’, the latest terminology that has entered to the literature. Instead of presenting a survey on the adventures of built environment in ecological activities, the file tries to put forward more detailed analysis that evaluate social realities with critical perspectives and search for possible alternatives. You will find articles that examine the interaction between the idea of sustainability and architecture and its reflection on the field of practice, built environment and on political dynamics.
In this respect the article of Ayşen Ciravoğlu: “Sustainable Architecture: Between Old Comprehensions and New Approaches” argues the idea of sustainability together with the idea of economic development and mentions the dilemmas in ecology -architecture relations through the frame of social responsibilities and legitimacies. The author questions how long this discourse of sustainability can sustain while resting merely on economic development, hegemonic policies, capitalist space and society of consumption. Mark Jarzombek on the other hand defines the sustainability project as a concordant company of ethical responsibilities, architectural practice, capitalism and good quality design. Before judging the legitimacy of this so called new relation between architecture and sustainability he tries to achieve a critical look to the consequences of this association. Zeynep Durmuş Arsan provides a detailed survey on various eco-friendly architectural examples that are realized including; eco-villages, private houses, dwellings, buildings for earthquake regions, public buildings and experimental solar houses. According to her records sustainable building enterprises are very few in number when compared to our built environment. The last article, the article of Begüm Yazgan puts a detailed analysis on the systematic ecology approach and its reflections on architecture. In doing so she captures examples from projects of Buckminster Fuller, Norman Foster, Ken Yeang and Mike Reynolds. In her view contemporary eco-friendly examples are the products of a desire to extend the life time of humans on earth rather than projects realized to protect the environment.
States of Space / Ahmet İnam
Ahmet İnam tries to portray the space through socio-psychological glasses and dresses them with metaphors. For him, space exists quite different from what we, ordinary people think. We do live in a space but the space also exists as a separate entity in our selves. Maybe the space is not the only reason to our various distresses but nonetheless it is responsible for the way we experience these distresses either with less or more hope. Therefore the question is have we found a proper space form or organization that suits to our selves in the 21st century? İnam’s article goes through the reflections of our inner spaces, spaces like ‘indifferent’, ‘bored’, ‘dark’, ‘ironic’, ‘rebellion’ and ‘singing’, stating the fact that the list can be extended due to the subjectivity of the matter.
Finish before Getting a Start: The Old Konya Bus Terminal Regeneration Project / Mehmet Çağlar Meşhur
The renewal project for the Old Konya Bus Terminal is one of the projects that seemed to have caused another loss in the urban memory under the name of “urban regeneration” programme. For Mehmet Çağlar Meşhur it is a process to (il)legitimize the profit earned from the land. It is the story of how a public land is transformed to serve for certain person or groups to gain profit instead of becoming an urban space open to everyone with various facilities and functions. According to the writer this renewal project is not the only example with unique mistakes and recklessness as there are many similar projects ongoing throughout the country. Therefore the lessons that can be learned from the failures of the Konya project are important for future regeneration projects. The project for him not only removed one of the most symbolic places, the historical bus terminal and its common memories from the city, but it also brought out a scattered planning into the stage without proposing any integration with the rest of the city fabric.
Vermeer’s Wanted: We Need a More Revolutionary Approach / Interview: Ekim Tan
Ekim Tan interviews Floris Alkemade, a designer at Rem Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), who argues that it is necessary for us to be able to “catch the culture of our time as it is foolish to repeat the cultural elements of the past”. For Alkemade one should always search for an innovative future for European city centers and he proves this argument with a portfolio, where he collects various city centre projects of OMA from Lille, Almere, Essen and Paris to many other cities in Europe and also in Asia. Instead of getting trapped with desires to preserve the heritage he tries to find inspirations from (and for) a contemporary city.
Recording Modern Architectural Heritage: Looking at Legal Processes and Registration Decisions / Ebru Omay Polat
Due to its general approach: to preserve what exists, the field of conservation is usually regarded as a stable field in architecture. As opposed to this common belief, the changes in the discourse and practice of architecture directly affect the field of preservation, thus give it a dynamic attitude. This dynamic attitude came to the foreground of discussions on the preservation of modern architectural heritage by the end of the 20th century. Ebru Omay Polat goes through certain modern architectural examples and their registration processes. In doing so she highlights some of the issues and values that are either poorly defined or missing in the legal processes and registration decisions in Turkey.
Architectural Education in Transformation: a Third Domain of Knowledge / Marvin J. Malecha
The theme of the 4th Architecture and Urban Assembly, which took place in October last year, was “continuity, sustainability and change”. The previous issue of our magazine published articles covering the current discussions on the subject matter. As an extension to the arguments done so far this issue includes another article from Marvin Malecha , which offers further insight into the differences between European and American architectural education from a global perspective. He suggests that challenges in both continents in relation to greater globalization are more or less the same. The article also emphasizes the need for a more transparent relationship between practice and education, and points out that research through life-long learning can be an important link.
The Book on Haluk Baysal-Melih Birsel: A Late Tribute to the Masters of our Modern Architecture/ Sibel Bozdoğan
The historiography of Modern Turkish architecture usually builds around the early Republican period and therefore the period after 1950’s apart from a few reviews on certain architects is a field not discovered enough by architectural historians. However Haluk Baysal and Melih Birsel are two pioneering names, who have left their mark on the modern Turkish architecture with their cooperation between the years 1952 and 1978. The book; Haluk Baysal – Melih Birsel is recently published as the third book of “People Labour for Architecture” series by the Chamber of Architects of Turkey. Bozdoğan reviews the book which includes personal memories of Baysal & Birsel and their relations with close friends and architects of the time, unpublished personal archives as well as articles that evaluate the architecture of Baysal & Birsel in relation to modern Turkish architecture of 50’s.
A Nude Protest to Rational Architecture/ Gürhan Tümer
The photograph includes nudes. One of the nude is Hundertwasser. This is a picture of an architect, famous for his playful buildings, who on the other hand has no architectural background, protesting the rational architecture with his nudity. Tümer underlines why this photograph is a Mea Architectura Mea Culpa.

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