Understanding, Interpreting And Presenting Heritage Sites That Lack Integrity: The Case Of The Old Arifiye Village Institute Campus

Savaş Okumuş, Hande
Kıvılcım Çorakbaş, Figen
One of UNESCO’s evaluation criteria for cultural and natural World Heritage Sites is the concept of integrity, which measures the completeness of a natural or cultural heritage site’s tangible architectural, urban, and environmental qualities. On the other hand, cultural significance is not only embodied in the tangible aspects of heritage but also inherent in the intangible aspects like associations, meetings, memory, and records. Considering that numerous sites that do have significant heritage values do not meet this integrity criterion, this paper argues that heritage sites that lack “integrity” can partially regain and revive their heritage values through an integrated evaluation and on-site presentation of their tangible and intangible cultural qualities. Similarly, the restoration of integrity by the in situ presentation techniques can promote the appreciation of the site’s architectural, cultural and historical values. Through an integrated methodology, this study analyzes the tangible and intangible cultural qualities of the Arifiye Old Village Institute campus, a heritage site that lacks integrity. Additionally, this paper discusses the role of digital technologies in the interpretation and presentation of the values of this campus. Village Institute campuses were situated in twenty-one different locations in Turkey; they were created to carry out modernization efforts and facilitate the construction of modern Turkish identity in the rural areas of the new Turkish Republic. The architectural projects of fifteen of the twenty-one Village Institute campuses, including the Arifiye Village Institute, were obtained through national architectural competitions. The architectural program included ateliers, classrooms, administrative buildings, service buildings, dining halls, dormitories, sports halls and open-air sports areas, and, in some cases, music schools and facilities for fishing. The Arifiye Village Institute was founded in Kocaeli in 1940. The educational and spatial history of the Arifiye Village Institute began with building of the Arifiye instructor course buildings in 1937. In 1940, the architect Recai Akçay was awarded first prize in the national architectural competition for his design of the Arifiye Village Institute. The construction of the buildings was considered part of the training education, and students built many of the buildings at Arifiye, including those in the instructor course area, the competition project area, and at other locations, like on the shores of nearby Sapanca Lake. The Arifiye Village Institute differs from other institute campuses, which were mostly confined to just one location. Although the Arifiye Village Institute has been an educational campus since its establishment, most of its original buildings are now lost. As a result of a Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism decision in 2000, a single building on the campus was registered as cultural heritage; that is a first step but is insufficient for conserving the site as a whole. The physical changes, in parallel with the changing educational systems over time, transformed the spatial characteristics of the campus. Functional changes to the existing buildings, a non-holistic conservation approach, demolition decisions, and the addition of architectural buildings incompatible with the character of the campus damaged its integrity. The Arifiye Village Institute campus, which has architectural, historical, political, and educational values, needs to be handled with an integrated conservation approach that prioritizes its tangible remains and intangible cultural heritage values. This article explores the importance of interpretation and on-site digital presentation for this campus and for other heritage sites that have lost their integrity. Using on-site digital presentation techniques to explain, interpret, and present the cultural significance of the Arifiye Village Institute and its tangible and intangible heritage values is an efficient and beneficial way to approach the conservation of heritage sites that have limited architectural remains.
Citation Formats
H. Savaş Okumuş and F. Kıvılcım Çorakbaş, “Understanding, Interpreting And Presenting Heritage Sites That Lack Integrity: The Case Of The Old Arifiye Village Institute Campus,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 175–204, 2023, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: http://jfa.arch.metu.edu.tr/content/view/196/181/.