Istanbul and Gezi Park: The Architecture of Change

 

THE TAKSIM SQUARE Reorganization plan called for the zombie like resurrection of the Artillery Barracks in place of Gezi Park. The project, bafflingly billed by the ruling AKP government as a “restoration” of the Ottoman-era building, is surrounded by tabula rasa no space punctuated by flowerbeds in the shape of tulips:

 

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A massive neo-Ottoman mosque planned by the AKP government for Çamlıca, a hilltop on Istanbul’s Asian side, was criticized vociferously not only for its drab historicism but intriguingly by Islamic conservatives as an act of hubris, antithetical to Islamic piety:

 

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Thematic condo developments have been a hallmark of Istanbul’s real estate development market in the past ten years. Here, apartments in Ottoman Palaces are on offer over a waterway re-creating the Bosphorus Strait just miles away:

 

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The largest of the completed neo-Ottoman projects transformed Istanbul’s Ottoman-era slaughterhouse into a congress center set jarringly amidst the city’s urban sprawl:

 

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A newly opened theme park, Vialand offers bits and pieces of old Istanbul, such as the Byzantine ramparts and Ottoman streetscapes, set amongst log flume rides and roller coasters:

 

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An eclectic mix of forms inspired by everything from Ottoman calligraphy to Epcot-style theme-park futurism becomes the basis for another hybrid mixed use project, Vav Türkiye:

 

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Turkish construction companies have taken their hyper kitsch architecture to places like Turkmenistan, building surreal projects such as this Wedding Palace in Ashgabat:

Gökhan Karakuş

About Gökhan Karakuş

Gökhan Karakuş is an Istanbul-based designer, theorist and critic. He is the founder and director of Emedya Design, an interactive and environmental design studio, and a contributor to Detail, The Architect’s Journal, Architectural Record, Dwell, and Bauwelt, among other publications. He is also a co-curator ofThe Performance of Modernity: Atatürk Kültür Merkezi, 1946-1977, a recent exhibition about the opera house on Taksim Square. He tweets at @gokhankarakus.
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One Response to Istanbul and Gezi Park: The Architecture of Change

  1. Pingback: Turkish protesters’ war on bad architecture - US Political Newswire | US Political Newswire

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