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THE ROLE OF PRODUCTION IN SHAPING THE ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER OF AN OTTOMAN SOAP FACTORY IN ANTAKYA (ANTIOCH)

2018-03-01
RİFAİOĞLU, MERT NEZİH
Aykaç Leıdholm, Pınar
Architectural space is an outcome of complex relations, embracing the physical, functional, social, and economic features of the period in which it was built or used. Likewise, production spaces dating back to the preindustrial and industrial eras are reflections of past production and manufacturing systems. Due to their specific requirements related to function, production buildings possess distinctive architectural features, building materials, construction techniques, and installations. Soap factories evolved as a new building type in the Ottoman territory in the Mediterranean basin, where olive cultivation was widespread, especially from the 19th century onward, due to the increase in trade. Although a broad range of building types from the Ottoman period have been discussed widely in the literature, soap factories have been largely overlooked to date. This paper analyzes Ottoman soap factories as a building type from a functionalist perspective and investigates how olive oil and soap production shaped the form and character of architectural space by documenting the Okten-Aselcioglu Soap Factory in Antakva (Antioch), which can be considered a significant example in terms of its original architectural features and installations. The building also offers insights into soap production technologies from different periods, since it functioned as a soap factory from the 19th century until the 2000s. The relationship between the production process and the architectural space will be discussed through an investigation of the flow of spaces, spatial requirements, specific installations, and construction techniques that are unique to olive oil and soap production.