Awarding architecture in Turkey: national architecture exhibition and awards program

Durmaz, Nur
The establishment of the National Architecture Exhibition and Awards (NAEA) program in 1987, by Chamber of Architects, coincides with the period of dissolving modernist paradigm and rising pluralist influences in Turkey. The program, as a critical medium, is expected to reflect “national” architectural practice and contribute in the “contemporary” architectural practice in Turkey. In order to evaluate the consistencies with these objectives, firstly the program identity and then the participations are analyzed. On the other hand, regarding the searches for “innovativeness” and “contemporaneity,” parallelism with the international architectural agenda and concerns for geographic differences are analyzed through the awarded projects and the jury reports. In the analysis about the position of the program as well as its indications about Turkish architectural practice, the following results are obtained: Program can be defined as having an insulated and closed character with regard to its structure. Considering the participations, it is seen that it does not reflect the heterogeneous character of its geographical scope and has an elitist profile in awards distribution. Priority given to senior architects in Grand Prizes, the weight of the restoration category and the newly established commemoration program itself point out to a conservative stance. In the thesis, the awarded submissions are analyzed comparatively with Progressive Architecture (PA) Awards program. It is an established program in United States, which perpetuate since 1954 and it is claimed to have both “reflective” and “limit-pushing” positions in the architectural platform. In NAEA program, instead of the claims for giving precedence to “limit-pushing” attempts, a “reflective” position has been maintained. In the jury reports, the “modernist” award criteria can be defined as parallel with the agenda of international platform. In recent years, in international platform, instead of domination by styles, conceptual productions and sustainable themes gain prominence. Thus, regarding the submissions of NAEA, these parallelisms have been diminished.


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Citation Formats
N. Durmaz, “Awarding architecture in Turkey: national architecture exhibition and awards program,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2009.