Preservation of the historical environment for cultural heritage: a case study of vernacular Istanbul houses
Gultek, Cengiz M
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Vernacular architecture in Turkey is a valuable, yet threatened cultural heritage. The loss of this cultural heritage is evident mainly in big cities such as Istanbul. As a natural consequence of the rapid social and economical changes, historic buildings started to vanish from the unique environment of Istanbul. With singularly few exceptions in recent construction, especially housing development, is depressingly ignorant of local vernacular architecture. In order to accommodate the exploding housing needs of Istanbul's growing population, much vernacular housing stock is demolished and replaced with "modem apartment units." This phenomena results in the destruction of historic urban, suburban, and rural architecture across Turkey. The unique characteristics of Turkish vernacular architecture is gradually being lost. As a developing country, Turkey is experiencing rapid urbanization. The urbanization process of in developing countries is inevitable. However, this process should not be allowed to result in destruction of a glorious as now the case in unprotected, traditional Istanbul houses. This thesis examines the significance of preserving the historical environment. Vernacular Istanbul houses will be the case study in this thesis. Istanbul is probably the best example of how a traditional environment can be irretrievably distorted through the amount of modem construction. To demonstrate the aesthetic beauty and functioning of the Turkish houses, the possibilities of modifying and preserving these houses in Istanbul will be the main goal of this thesis.