Türkiye’de Fabrika İşçi Konutları: Silahtarağa Elektrik Santrali

Cengizkan, Ali
During the age of industrialisation, the design and provision of accommodation for workers in the investment processes of factory construction and management has often introduced architectural and cultural artefacts that reveal the social and ideological stand and awareness of parties involved. The employer, be it private or sate enterprise, attempts to regulate its relationship with the employee, confining labour as engaged worker by means of physical facilities and constraints in labourers' life-environment. The employee" on the other hand, could subscribe to the given living quarters and its resulting social and cultural conditions, dedicating more of its life resources to the work-place. This is a relationship of domination/submission. A research project started by the author in May 2001 and funded by the METU AFP Administration aimed to explore the evolution of such concerns in the construction of the ideology of communities and the making of architecture of the workers' housing in Turkey. Within this context, uncovering the buildings within the Silahtarağa Electric Plant complex accomplished during the last days of the Ottoman Empire was considered an appropriate initial case to start with. Situated at the tip of the Golden Horn, the complex capitalized the water resources of the Silahtar and Kağıthane streams. The plant came into service by the second month of 1914, and was run until 1983 uninterrupted. It was when the coal and water resources were almost depleted that the factory terminated its functions. The case of Silahtarağa, not only could help to explore the phenomena of social and physical construction of the workers' housing during the early and 'innocent' phase of industrialisation in this country, but could also help initiate the rehabilitation and the restoration of this derelict factory, under the aegis of industrial archaeology. It was a most fortunate opportunity to find almost the complete set of architectural working-drawings of Silahtarağa factory in the Republican Archive of the Prime-Ministry, which spread between the years of 1911 when it was first a 'concept project', then developed, completed and realized till the end of 1939; when new macro-plans were prepared to supply electricity at the national level. Not only the plans and inter-office communication records and files prepared for developments, renewals, and modifications regarding the buildings, and the machinery and installations of the factory, but also the administrative documents and correspondence about plans and sketches depicting link lines, electric power supply to the city of Istanbul, and planning and location of transformer buildings were recovered. The factory and technological know-how were introduced and implemented by a Hungarian company, while architectural work belongs to a French privatefirm, located in Istanbul. The factory and 'electric power production and sales priviliges' were granted to a French company at the outset, and then passed over to 'Soci^te Anonyme Ottomane d'Electricite' (Osmanlı Türk Elektrik Anonim Şirketi) and finally nationalized by the Turkish Government in 1937. The accommodations area in the complex is kept at a distance from the production zone to minimize the noise and air pollution effects as much as possible. The two separate single-storey buildings for the bachelors and married workers, are arranged within a triangle with the three-storey apartment building that contains flats for the employees, delineated by pedestrian pathways in between. The composition did not only impose a separation, but also enhanced integration in terms of social-status and gender, which was a novelty for the emerging modern society in Turkey, even though the layout might have been designed partially for foreign employees in mind. Amenities like public baths, a restaurant and play fields were provided in easy reach and use of the green outdoors. The steel construction and fine detailing of the production spaces, like the generator or turbine halls or water tank halls, are in contrast with the stone and brick load-bearing structures of the accommodation buildings, the latter with their 'First Nationalist Architecture' style facade treatments. This brings to mind the distinction between 'the shell for the human-being' and 'the shell for machinery', as opposed to the motto of Le Corbusier as 'house-machine' or 'house as a machine to live in'. Nevertheless, the accommodation buildings were well-equipped with modern devices of comfort, as compared with the urban housing construction of the same period. It seems that the designers deliberately chose to introduce new ideas for residential quarters. This called the introduction of new installations within the grounds, to open doors, paving ways for the modernization of architectural thinking and practice, as well as providing a means of familiarization with the new way of living. The Silahtarağa case in its design of workers' accommodations quarters provides not only evidence on thinking about the housing conditions determined in line with modern availability of energy and facilities that dictate new ways of living, but also illuminates the architectural and artifact history of this famous plant in Istanbul. These could well contribute in the initiation of the intended re-functioning and re-programming of the factory buildings and their environs.


Remapping contemporary housing production in Turkey : a case study on housing patterns and marketing strategies
Koca, Duygu; Güzer, Celal Abdi; Department of Architecture (2012)
The important positions of the thesis are mainly to understand the transformation in the architecture discipline under the umbrella of globalization and to define the current situation of residential architecture dominated by the new actors of construction sector through the transformation of identity value. In the first part of the study, how the production of residential architecture in Turkey is affected by the new values of capitalist globalization in the 21st century is examined. In order to monitor th...
Re-mapping contemporary architecture in Turkey based on the relationship between urbanisation and architecture: Eskişehir road development in Ankara
Günel, Ahmet; Güzer, Celal Abdi; Department of Architecture (2020)
The purpose of this thesis is to re-map contemporary architecture in Turkey through the transformative and correlative relationship between urban and architectural scales because the contemporary transformation of architecture in recent years is considerably related with its urban meaning and its role within the urban context. In order to achieve this, a theoretical background, which includes a comprehensive literature survey and a general framework of architecture and urbanization relation in Turkey with h...
Artificial intelligence applications in earthquake resistant architectural design: Determination of irregular structural systems with deep learning and ImageAI method
Bingol, Kaan; Akan, Asli Er; ÖRMECİOĞLU, HİLAL TUĞBA; ER, ARZU (Journal of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Gazi University, 2020-01-01)
Although the architectural design process is carried out with the collaboration of experts who are experienced in many different areas from the main preferences to the detailing stage, the major decisions such as plan organization, mass design etc. are taken by the architect. Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs are generally effective after the major decisions of the design are taken. For this reason, it is common for the main decisions, taken during the design process, to be changed during the analysis of...
Awarding architecture in Turkey: national architecture exhibition and awards program
Durmaz, Nur; Balamir, Aydan; Department of Architecture (2009)
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 analy...
Assessment of the effects of adaptive reuse interventions on three apartment buildings in Beyoğlu, İstiklal street
Tamer Türer, Füsun; Özgönül, Nimet; Department of Restoration (2020-10-26)
The main subject of the thesis is the relationship between the new function and the carrying capacity of the building in adaptive reuse interventions in the context of conserving the architectural heritage. In adaptive reuse applications, the first thing that should be considered is that the new function is compatible with the building, in order to ensure that the architectural heritage assets are conserved in a healthy way. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to assess the relationship between t...
Citation Formats
A. Cengizkan, “Türkiye’de Fabrika İşçi Konutları: Silahtarağa Elektrik Santrali,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 20, no. 1-2, pp. 29–55, 2000, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: http://jfa.arch.metu.edu.tr/archive/0258-5316/2000/cilt20/sayi_1_2/29-55.pdf.