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Apartment block as the object of the generic city:Ankara

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2004
Ürger, Ahmet Mucip
Ankara has experienced a radical transformation after 1950s, in which the أidentityؤ of the highly planned capital has been erased, emphasizing أhomogenizationؤ, أblanknessؤ and أsimilarity.ؤ The Apartment Block was the أobjectؤ of this condition and the أsubjectؤ of the transformation in the أurban identity,ؤ both with its physical existence and with the mind-set it has radiated to the whole levels of the society. It has stripped out the identity of the city with its "endless reproduction." This transformation has led the Apartment Block to be accused of transforming Turkish cities to deformed agglomerations, deprived of aesthetics. In this sense, architectural discipline has been criticized for its أimpotenceؤ to respond the economical, social and cultural conditions that traverse the urban setting. This criticism has questioned the أgenerative roleؤ of architecture in the Early Republican period as a أsocial engineeringؤ and discouraged any relation between architecture and the city, which has manifested the reduction of the architecture to a formal discipline. Ankara, with its dazzling transformation within few decades proposed its own urbanism and its own architecture, with the mutation of the Apartment Block first to a أresilient frameؤ than to a أmulti-programmed infrastructure.ؤ This study will consider this transformation as ءanother̕ manifestation of a أnewؤ kind of urbanism that was mainly declared by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, claming that the أresilientؤ and أneutralؤ objects are the dominant and extensive forms of the contemporary urbanism. Hence, the study presents a cross reading of the urban development of Ankara together with Rem Koolhaas̕ book Delirious New York and his essay أThe Generic Cityؤ in SMLXL. The utmost goal is to explore a possible "reciprocal relation" between architecture and the city and to explore the limits of architectural intervention