ISSN: 1302-2636 | E-ISSN: 2757-668X
Architectural Historical Semantic: The Neoliberal Capitalism-Driven Transformation of Karatepe Eaves: The Museum Hotel Antakya [Tasarım Kuram]
Tasarım Kuram. 2021; 17(34): 111-122 | DOI: 10.14744/tasarimkuram.2021.50455

Architectural Historical Semantic: The Neoliberal Capitalism-Driven Transformation of Karatepe Eaves: The Museum Hotel Antakya

Aslı Can
Department of Architecture, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey

The Museum Hotel Antakya, whose project is managed by Emre Arolat Architects and whose design and application have been intertwined both intellectually and operationally since 2009 with its compound functions, the unique value of the Ancient Roman ruins it hosts, and unusual construction methods. It can be subjected to different readings in various plural contexts that can be increased. The meaning of the object can be stratified, deconstructed or studied in the context of semantic transformations by considering it from different angles in numerous articles that can be written on the structure in question. Before the construction is completed; there is no doubt that the hotel, which has been widely discussed in the fields of architecture, archeology, conservation and similar areas, will remain on the agenda for a long time after its opening and use.
The article titled “Architectural Historical Semantic: The Neoliberal Capitalism-Driven Transformation of Karatepe Eaves: The Museum Hotel Antakya” is not a visual comparison of these two projects, neither tries it to create a “starchitectural” narrative by mentioning the two architects of the structures. This very study is a comparison of the projects with their socio-economic background into which these structures, both of which can be considered “iconic” in their own temporal context, were born. In other words, architectural products, which are the indisputable reflections of state policies, and the two specific periods that brought them into existence, are intended to be evaluated within the context of architectural reflexes that emerged with the semantic transformation experienced as a result of neoliberal capitalist tendencies.
The method adopted by the article is chronological. In the study, Karatepe Aslantaş Open-Air Museum, which was built on the background axis of the brutalist architectural products of 1950s Turkey and pronounced as Karatepe Eaves, is introduced as a design object and tried to be understood with its context. Then, before introducing the Museum-Hotel function to the reader, it discusses the reflections of the decisions of January 24, 1980, on architectural production, which brought a total change in Turkey from different perspectives in the early 1980s, which was accepted as the breaking point of the transition to the neoliberal economy and free market that paved the way for its invention. The Museum Hotel Antakya, designed by Emre Arolat Architects; is evaluated in terms of its invented function, context, design criteria, use of materials and features that make it a 21st century architectural icon. The conclusion section, which is designed as an open-ended discussion platform, tries to answer the following question and to put forward various answers and suggestions by problematizing this issue: “Is Eaves’ Architectural Manifestation in the 21st Century a Hotel?”
Emre Arolat’s architectural reflex includes an understanding that reminds a great deal of the sensitivity of the designers of the Karatepe Eaves. The architects of the two projects trace the “place” in their structures. Even the pilot elements, which are the common point of the projects and can allegorically take on the task of decontextualization, yield to the emphasis of the permission, regardless of whether it is elegant or massive. In other words, the context confronts the experiencer as the most important factor affecting the main decisions in both projects. The common point of these two designs, made 50 years apart, undoubtedly stems from the strength of their context. Two clusters of remains were not moved to the museum in line with the opinions of the experts, instead an in-situ conservation approach was adopted. However, 50 years ago, the protection approach of various historical and archaeological remains was a top cover that could not compete with it, today this top cover can easily evolve into a world brand hotel, which is a rent-based product.
The aim of the article is far from criticizing the architectural production of EAA or focusing on a social perspective on the pros and cons of the neoliberal system. What is particularly emphasized is the spatial transformation in which architecture has been articulated in 50 years, even if the architectural reflex is similar; it is the fact that the eaves are manifested in the conversion of the hotel. In other words, the protection top cover of the 1950s, consisting of eaves, was replaced by an invented function, a museum-hotel, at the beginning of the 21st century. Such a comparison in the context of the semantic transformations of architectural history objects will constitute important discussion fields for the literature.

Keywords: Eaves, transformation, neoliberal, context, place.

(Mimarlık) Tarih(i)sel Semantik ya da Karatepe Saçakları’nın Neoliberal Kapitalizm Güdümlü Dönüşümü: The Museum Hotel Antakya

Aslı Can
Yeditepe Üniversitesi Mimarlık Fakültesi, Mimarlık Anabilim Dalı, İstanbul, Türkiye

“(Mimarlık) Tarih(i)sel Semantik: Karatepe Saçakları’nın Neoliberal Kapitalizm Güdümlü Dönüşümü: The Museum Hotel Antakya” başlıklı makale, isminde adı geçen iki projenin görsel bir karşılaştırması değildir; bunun yanında, iki yapının müellifleri üzerinden bir “star mimarlık” gündemi yaratmaya da çalışmaz. Elinizdeki çalışma, bir arkitektonik nesne olarak saçağın, takribi 50 yıl içerisinde uğradığı semantik dönüşüm üzerinden, Arolat ya da projenin diğer aktörleri tarafından “icat edilen” Müze-Otel fonksiyonunun, Karatepe’de somutlaşan ve “ikonikleşen” arkeolojik koruma saçaklarının neoliberal kapitalist bir tezahürü olup olmadığını tartışmaya açmayı amaçlar. Yani çalışmanın temelinde yatan karşılaştırma, ikisi de kendi zamansal bağlamlarında “ikonik” olarak kabul edilebilecek bu yapıların, içine doğdukları sosyo-ekonomik arka plandır. Diğer bir deyişle, devlet politikalarının tartışmasız yansımaları olan mimarlık ürünleri ve onları var eden iki özgül dönem, neoliberal kapitalist tandanslar sonucu yaşanan semantik dönüşüm özelinde ortaya çıkan mimari refleksler bağlamında bir değerlendirmeye tabi tutulmak istenmektedir. Özellikle vurgulanmak istenen, mimari refleks benzer olsa dahi 50 yıl içerisinde mimarlığın eklemlendiği mekânsal dönüşümün; saçakların otele çevrilmesinde tezahür ettiği gerçeğidir. Yani 1950’li yılların, saçaklardan oluşan koruma üst örtüsü, 21. yüzyılın başında yerini icat edilmiş bir fonksiyona, bir müze-otele bırakabilmiştir. Mimarlık tarihini nesnelerinin uğradığı anlamsal dönüşümler bağlamında böylesi bir karşılaştırma, meslek literatürü için önemli veriler teşkil edecektir.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Saçak, dönüşüm, neoliberal, bağlam, yer.

Aslı Can. Architectural Historical Semantic: The Neoliberal Capitalism-Driven Transformation of Karatepe Eaves: The Museum Hotel Antakya. Tasarım Kuram. 2021; 17(34): 111-122

Corresponding Author: Aslı Can, Türkiye
Manuscript Language: Turkish
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