Evaluation of a Modernist Approach through Buildings in Kayseri, Turkey

  • Hikmet Eldek Güner Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Erciyes University, Köşk Mahallesi, Mimar Sinan Cd., 38039 Melikgazi, Kayseri, Turkey

Abstract

Kayseri was an important commercial city throughout history, and with the declaration of the Republic, it continued its importance in different areas. The city has many original buildings from the Early Republican Period and was a model of modernisation set on a western ideology. Modernisation of the Republic was started with industrialisation. Consequently, Kayseri became an industrial city in the early 20th century. Investments (both economic and spatial) made by government were later continued by the private sector. Industrialisation was seen as the most important dynamic of development and key to modernisation. This situation resulted in the establishment of a new Kayseri around the industrial area and was viewed as an example for a modern Turkey. These industrial areas were constructed close to the boundary of the city centre. At the same time, the city centre was reconstructed according to modern city planning and the new style (modern style). The ceremonial ground (city square), an urban grid system, wide main transport routes, new public and municipal buildings, which were symbols of international style, were constructed by destroying the historic city centre in the Early Republic Period.
The Republic was not only constructing new public buildings in a modern style; it was tried to build a new life with the modern residential areas. Instead of the traditional dwellings, modern houses were constructed to illustrate the new lifestyle together with new functional buildings such as modern education complexes, a community centre, stadium and train station were all constructed to show how to live the modern life.
The city gained a new face with the changes starting from 1930. Today, many buildings, belonging to the Early Republican Period, are not being considered in the conservation of cultural heritage and are in danger. Industrial complexes, residential areas, public places are seen as a building stock destined to disappear and be replaced by new buildings. These earlier buildings hold important historical, social, economic and political values. Similarly, construction techniques and materials were also unique for that period.
The aim of this study is to draw attention to the 20th century buildings in Kayseri constructed in the Early Republic Period, and classify these buildings under different headings (industry, housing, public space, educational space, open spaces) with the photographs, plans and history, thus defining their values and why they must be conserved.

Republic was not only constructed new public buildings in modern style, it was tried to build a new life with the modern residential areas. Instead of the traditional dwellings, modern houses were constructed for point out of new life style and also new functioned buildings like as modern education complexes, community center, stadium, train station were constructed to show how to live in the modern life.

The city has gained a new face with the changes starting from 1930. Today many buildings, belonging to the Early Republican Period, are not being considered in the conservation of cultural heritage and they are in danger. Industrial complexes, residential areas, public places are seen as a stock of a building and faced to disappear for constructed for the new buildings. They have very important values like as historical, social, economic and politic. Also construction techniques and materials were also unique for that period.

The aim of this study is, to attract attention on 20th century buildings in Kayseri which are constructed in Early Republic Period, to classify these buildings in different headings (industry, housing, public space, educational space, open space …etc) with the photographs, plans and history. In general, meaning the main aim of this study is to define their values and explain why they must be conserved.

Keywords: Turkey, Kayseri, Early Republican Period, modernisation, conservation
Published online
2018-11-27
How to Cite
Eldek Güner, H. (2018) “Evaluation of a Modernist Approach through Buildings in Kayseri, Turkey”, Periodica Polytechnica Architecture, 49(2), pp. 144-154. doi: https://doi.org/10.3311/PPar.12643.
Section
Articles