Tracing conservative modernization of Turkey between 2010-2020: school architecture in Istanbul’s Historical Peninsula
Embargo Lift Date: 2021-07-26
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Modernization in all fields, including architecture, is on Turkey’s ideological agenda since the late Ottoman period. From that time, different understandings of modernization have been attempted, and reaching the last one in the first 20 years of the XXI century, with conservative power in politics. Considering modernity’s contemporary interpretation and the attempts towards making new national architecture, this thesis relates conservative modernization to school architecture. Apart from being a significant medium in describing the periods’ understanding of modernization, new national architecture was introduced in 2005 with new prototype projects for public schools. Since then, this new architectural style is under process and characterized no longer by a specific individual style but much more by an ambiguous set of characters which imply continuing negotiation. To trace these characters over the latest samples, the portfolio of reconstructed school projects in the scope of the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparation Project (ISMEP) represents a wide diversity of architectural languages with all kinds of global, national, and local dynamics. Contrary to the regular practice in building schools in Turkey, ISMEP has also abandoned prototype projects and adopted special projects in 2010. In the light of contemporary attempts to refashion bounds with tradition, this thesis took 12 reconstructed public schools in Istanbul’s Historical Peninsula as microcosms that epitomized conservative modernization. By reading educational spaces as the reflection of ideological discourse and architectural space, the restoration ideology of conservative modernization was revealed as the (re-)invention and promotion of architectural spaces and elements. In this way, the global reconstruction of the locality was exemplified with ISMEP’s public schools.
Changing dynamics on education
New national architecture