Autonomy of architecture: analysis of transformation of Bodrum built environment via design codes

Özhisar, Hatice Özgül
The design codes of the physical plans have created a global tourism destination with exaggerated and deteriorated building stock in Bodrum under the neoliberal policies of Turkey. Bodrum that had traditional houses in 1970s has transformed into a commodity for tourism and construction industry. The study sets out to investigate the autonomy of architecture within the consumption age with reference to the housing types defined by the plan codes. The content of this study is to explore the design codes addressing the autonomy debate by locating the development of Bodrum housing type at the center of the neoliberal design process of the built environment of Bodrum. The aim of the study is to provide a theoretical and methodological framework for the analysis of code, type and autonomous architecture within the context of a built environment of Bodrum that has structured by the design codes under the neoliberal hegemony of politics and economy of Turkey and to investigate to what extent the autonomy of architecture has been achieved in the realm of this content. The thesis first attempts to look into the autonomy of architecture, providing a two-fold critical insight concerning the present complexities and crisis of capitalism (capitalist mode of production) as; first the critique of [post]modernism and second [post]neoliberalism. Then, it has asked what the relation between type, autonomy and code in the realm of the autonomy of architecture is. In this content, the peculiar thing about types is that the discussion has deepened in relation with type and model comparisons within the realm of code and autonomy in the content of the study. So, it has located the relationship of design codes and type at the centre of the building design process in line with the autonomy arguments of the dissertation. The question has also set to understand the external factors and technical constraints, for this purpose, the study explores this issue in the case area of Bodrum, focusing on the regulatory context via the planning mechanism and design codes within tourism’s transformative demands in the consumption age of neoliberal policies. The study analyses and looks into these problems textual, visual and conceptual fremework using qualitative research methodology with the tools of the content analysis of the design codes that are structured in a matrix. The matrix covers three time frames of 1970, 1982 and 2003 under three main titles as; first, procedural codes- that are legislative and juridical; second, contextual codes- that are environmental and physical planning and; third, architectural codes- that are functional, dimensional, visual and construction. Then,this content has examined in the case area on three plot zones at the centre of Bodrum. The case area and its content Bodrum house types are suitable for the hypothesis of the study, since it has preserved almost all the examples of the traditional housing types defined by the design codes of these three time frames. The results of the analysis present that the built and social environment of Bodrum structured and shaped via these codes as the agent of the government in terms of property development from housing types to tourism facilities in defined time frame. Although the design codes intend to protect the cultural values of the small vernacular context of Bodrum and create a more or less unique environment that is different than most of the cities of Turkey, Bodrum built environment has almost ended in kitch and its housing type has turned into a myth. Not only the illegal buildings but also the challenges of the architecture discipline in terms of theory and practice under the hegemony of the capitalist mode of production have damaged the built context of Bodrum. Therefore, in the theoretical debate, it is advocated that “semi-autonomy” architecture presents a stance in this ambiguity and complexity of the architecture. Eventually, the study is important with its aim to discuss the autonomy of architecture and to analyse the concepts of design codes and types with an interdisciplinary look in architecture, politics, economy, and urban design considering the local and global discussions for the problem area of Bodrum in Turkey.


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Citation Formats
H. Ö. Özhisar, “Autonomy of architecture: analysis of transformation of Bodrum built environment via design codes,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2016.