Transformation of the urban pattern in Istanbul: from multi-storey dwellings to gated communities
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The rapid and unrestrained transformation of traditional housing patterns, generally based on the experience and cultural background of the inhabitants, as a result of different requirements and new building techniques, has caused various urban problems all over the world. Turkey has also encountered these problems during the development process of multi-storey dwellings that have ignored the existing urban pattern starting from late 19th century. This study deals with the transformation engendered by implementing blocks of multi-storey apartments in Istanbul, starting from the 19th century, and its effects on the social and physical environments. In fact, the new dwellings have influenced not only the urban pattern, but also social life. In this context, the influence of new building types on the urban pattern transformation and their effects on urban memory are evaluated. Various researchers have expressed their concern for considering dwellings separately from their environmental contexts. Unfortunately, environments integrating dwellings and their surroundings have become difficult to find in Turkey. Within the mass production mentality, new dwelling forms proliferating rapidly with various requirements and interests have invaded cities in the form of concrete blocks and have become estranged from the existing environment. Istanbul was selected in this study because it has been largely influenced by the modernization process and incorporates different building techniques and forms more than other Turkish metropolitan cities. This study aims to evaluate how the rise of multistoried dwellings in the 19th century, a historical districts in Istanbul, affected social life and how continuing this architectural approach has transformed the existing urban environment.