Istanbul Eclectics II
[...] Istanbul is the oldest continuously developing metropolis of the world. […] The modern metropolis rests on a thirty-meter thick layer of debris accumulated by the former stages of development and this history can be felt everywhere, mixed with recent constructions and fiercely appropriated for the current uses. Istanbul has a distinctive feeling of an oriental city mixed with ugliness and motion of a third-world settlement. This combination overwhelms in the first contact with a pulsating feeling of powerlessness and misplacement. The insight view though renders its inhabitants living their lives in a pleasurable and peaceful manner. […] The agglomeration as we know it today, spreads along the seacoast for tens of kilometers, covering 25 districts of the Istanbul Province. The real explosion of its development took place in the second part of the 20th century, when during 25 years between the population had tripled, leading to massive crisis in housing development. Nowadays more than a half of citizens live in these squatter communities. It is hard to define whether the city belongs to Europe or Asia, despite the fact that roughly 70% of Istanbulites live in the European section. Dispersed and internally divided agglomeration is bound with maritime traffic, which is still very dense. Istanbul stays fragmented also within its inland territory. Similarly to Rome, it covers seven hills, spreading out from a central ridge with swarming abundance of meandering streets, where the districts and neighborhoods are isolated within the undulating fabric of the city by abrupt breaks and steep slopes of terrain. Even great rulers of the past never attained control over their own capital, which defied the passage of time and still holds its internally independent and externally powerful position.
MSc studio BC, semester 10, 2007-09
Participants: Sybren Boomsma, Gijs Braakman, Alejandro Garcia-Marta, Jonna Klumpenaar, Tuuli Koller, Marcin Koltunski, Bart-Jan Polman, Merel Stolker.
Mentors: Oscar Rommens, Marc Schoonderbeek, Alexander Vollebregt, Freerk Hoekstra, Jan Engels.