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Intervention principles in wet spaces for contemporary residential use, in Eski Foça traditional dwellings

Erdem, Elif
Traditional dwellings are one of the most important elements of Turkey’s cultural heritage, which constitute a large part of the total quantity of all our traditional buildings. These buildings also have an important economic value due to their forming a huge part of the housing stock of Turkey. However these buildings disappear rapidly, because of many reasons. Besides several external factors, which cause their loss indirectly, such as pressure of the urbanization, the lack or defects of the legal arrangements, shortage in the financial sources… etc, they also have internal problems such as, structural, functional and environmental ones which lead their users to abandon them, similarly resulting in their deterioration and loss in the long term. Inadequacy of the service units in traditional dwellings are one of the most important problems belonging to the category of functional problems. They will be abandoned or physically altered by unconscious interventions as long as the needs related to the service functions are not met. Because the original service units of the traditional dwellings, especially the ones called ‘wet spaces’ in today’s contemporary houses do not respond to our needs, and are under the requested modern living standards. The change of the traditional way of life parallel to technological developments has resulted in the change in uses within the house and changes in needs and habits of the people. Therefore, the major objective of this study was to make the necessary rehabilitations related to the service needs in terms of adapting the traditional dwellings to contemporary residential use. It was assumed that this study would offer guidelines to eliminate similar types of problems related to the service needs of all the traditional dwellings in Foça. In this direction, the architecture of the traditional Foça dwellings with special interest in their service spaces were researched in the site survey. Besides their original architectural characteristics, their physical alteration status regarding to their needs, their problems and desires of their users were determined both with physical analyses and social questionnaires. All the interventions were assessed by taking into consideration both their conservation and physical needs of their inhabitants. In the proposal phase of the study, the spatial potentials and carrying capacities of the dwellings were determined while also considering the preservation of their values. The dwellings were grouped after this assessment according to their spatial potentials and problems. The appropriate types of interventions, aimed at meeting the minimum requirements, sometimes realized by rehabilitation of an existent space and in other cases by the addition of a new space were revealed according to the needs and problems of the dwellings. Finally, the principle decisions for the interventions were proposed by considering the necessary balance between usage and preservation in each proposal.