ISSN: 1302-2636 | E-ISSN: 2757-668X
An Analytical Look at Mediterranean Modernism in Contemporary Turkish Architecture [Tasarım Kuram]
Tasarım Kuram. 2022; 18(36): 95-112 | DOI: 10.14744/tasarimkuram.2022.85530

An Analytical Look at Mediterranean Modernism in Contemporary Turkish Architecture

Burcu Kütükçüoğlu
Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Istanbul, Türkiye

The research problematizes the geographic and historic distribution of modern buildings on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey, which are designed with reference to the local landscapes and building cultures and the analysis of the contextual and architectural elements that give them their Mediterranean characters. Furthermore, the reflections of the natural and cultural diversities among the coastal sub-regions on architectural works are within the scope of the study as well.
The major aims of the research are the identification and documentation of those buildings on coastal Anatolia, which have a Mediterranean character, their geographic and thematic mapping and analysis in terms of design criteria. Furthermore, a framework for a database that brings together these quantitative and qualitative data about buildings that represent Mediterranean Modernism in Turkey is the expected outcome of the research.
An exemplary group of modern buildings and settlements with Mediterranean characters are identified through the consecutive processes of literature scan, workshops and site visits and later on analysed in terms of the cultural landscapes they make part of and their architectural characteristics. At the end of these processes, in addition to the mapping that displays factual data about these buildings and settlements, their specific contexts and design strategies are investigated and the large variety resulting from the application of generic architectural ideas to different cultural geographies are observed.
Within the scope of the research, buildings and settlements constructed since 1960s in Anatolian cities with a coast to Aegean and Mediterranean seas and which are designed with reference to local conditions and culture and thus have a Mediterranean character are studied. Only those works that are designed from scratch –no renovation or restoration works- and still standing are included in the research. All of the buildings and settlements studied in the research are published in architectural magazines, books, or digital portals, with the exception of a few discovered during site visits.
The research shows that the modern buildings and settlements that are designed with reference to local conditions and cultures on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey are located on similar categories of cultural landscapes and display similar architectural features and design strategies. However, the study also proves that despite these categorical similarities a large variety of interpretations of Mediterranean modernism exist in these architectural works due to the geographic, ecological, and cultural varieties present among the sub-regions on the coastal strip. Furthermore, it is made clear by this research that certain geographic sub-regions, cultural landscape categories and architectural features are much more dominant with respect to others in the representation and experimentation of Mediterranean modernism. For instance,
“Southern Aegean” sub-region is much more prominent in terms of the number and variety of the works it houses and similarly “touristic coastal strips” come to the fore among other cultural landscape categories while “architectural language” is the dominant one within the design tools in giving a Mediterranean character to buildings and settlements. When the group of works included in the research is analysed in terms of the variety of architectural programs it is seen that touristic facilities and dwellings are the most frequently seen and this finding supports the argument that helped define the scope of the project: Mediterranean discourse grew parallel to the rise of mass tourism in modern and contemporary architecture of Turkey. Last but not least, the different interpretations and solutions presented by the architectural works included in the research shows that there cannot be a simple or singular formula for giving a Mediterranean character to a building or settlement and the
“mosaic” of varieties attributed to the geography of the Mediterranean is also valid for the architecture it hosts.
Mediterranean modernism is a topic that frequently appears in architectural research and literature in the recent years. Since early 20th century architectural discourses and works are produced that helped transform the abstract face of modernism conditioned by machine aesthetics and universalism. Countries like Spain and Italy that defined their national identities largely through the nature and culture of the Mediterranean acted as leaders in this respect and the architectural works produced in these geographies inspired architects from other parts of the region while as well provided topics of discussion for scholars. Mediterranean discourse in Turkish architecture becomes apparent only after 1960s when mass tourism started to develop and the scholarly studies about this topic is limited to certain well-known architects and works. The original value of this research is that it presents a comprehensive mapping of the modern buildings and settlements with a Mediterranean character spreading to a large geographic area and historic period and provides a framework for future projects and studies. Furthermore, this research puts forward the unique contribution of the Anatolian geography to the field of Mediterranean modernism, through examples brought together and presented with an analytical approach.

Keywords: Modern architecture, Mediterranean, cultural landscape, regionalism, vernacular architecture.

Güncel Türkiye Mimarlığında Akdenizli Modernliğe Analitik Bir Bakış

Burcu Kütükçüoğlu
İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Mimarlık Fakültesi, Mimarlık Bölümü, İstanbul, Türkiye

Bu makale, Türkiye’nin Ege ve Akdeniz kıyılarında, kitlesel turizmin ve yapılaşmanın yaygınlaştığı 1960’lardan günümüze uzanan dönemde, yerel coğrafi koşullar ve yapı kültürü gözetilerek tasarlanmış mimarlık ürünlerine dair bir araştırmanın teorik çerçevesini, yöntem ve sonuçlarını açıklamaktadır. Araştırma kapsamında, Çanakkale-Hatay arasındaki kıyı şeridinde yer alan ve Akdenizli karakterlere sahip olduğu düşünülen geniş bir yapı ve yerleşimler grubu, kaynak taraması, çalıştaylar ve saha çalışmaları aracılığı ile belirlenmiştir. Beş coğrafi alt bölge altında toplanan bu örnekler, Akdenizli karakterlerini çözümlemek adına, parçası oldukları kültürel peyzaj tipleri ve mimari özellikler bağlamında analiz edilmiştir. Çalışılan yapı ve yerleşimlerin, parçası oldukları kültürel peyzajlara eklemlenme biçimleri, iklim koşullarına karşı sundukları çözümler ve yerel yapı kültürlerini, mimari öğe ve arketipleri yorumlama biçimleri analitik biçimde incelenmiş ve haritalanmıştır. Makalede, Anadolu kıyılarındaki Akdeniz yerelliğinin farklı yorumlarını ortaya koyan bu haritalama ve analiz kategorileri, farklı dönemlere ve coğrafi alt bölgelere ait yapı ve yerleşim örnekleri ile açıklanmaktadır. Araştırmanın ana bulgularından birisi, kültürel coğrafya alanında Akdeniz’e dair kabul edilen zengin mikro-bölgesel çeşitlilik özelliğinin, mimarlık alanında da karşılığının olmasıdır. Bu bağlamda, benzer mimari tasarım araçları ve stratejilerinin, farklı kültürel peyzaj bölgelerinde değişik yorumlara ve sonuç ürünlere yol açtığı gözlemlenmiş ve örneklenmiştir. Bir başka deyişle bu araştırma, Akdeniz’in bir süreklilikler ve farklılıklar mozaiği olduğunu Anadolu coğrafyası örneği ve modern mimari işler üzerinden göstermiş ve bunu, gelişime açık bir veri tabanı altlığı olarak sunmuştur.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Modern mimarlık, Akdeniz, kültürel peyzaj, bölgeselcilik, yerel mimarlık.

Burcu Kütükçüoğlu. An Analytical Look at Mediterranean Modernism in Contemporary Turkish Architecture. Tasarım Kuram. 2022; 18(36): 95-112

Corresponding Author: Burcu Kütükçüoğlu, Türkiye
Manuscript Language: Turkish
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