GUZER / OZGENEL / ATABAS / GUR / YOLTAY

RESTORING LIFE / REBUILDING COMMUNITY / RECONSTRUCTING CITY: ARCHITECTURAL RESPONSES TO URBAN AND SOCIAL READAPTATION IN TRAUMATISED CONTEXTS IDEAS AND PROPOSALS FOR ELAZIĞ

Turkey is increasingly confronted with the multi-dimensional impacts of large-scale social and spatial traumas caused foremost by natural disasters and conflicts. In recent years, earthquakes, floods, landslides and storms that did not previously happen in such intensity and frequency have begun to form the country's agenda. The issue of 'post-disaster', respectively, has become a challenging phenomenon as it does not only articulate human and property losses and associated problems of unhealthy and unsafe urbanization but also involves action and policy planning to rebuild disaster contexts and their communities, both spatially and socially, and thus to restore life in every sense. The conflicts and war situations that are taking place at Turkey's borders in recent years, likewise, resulted in human dramas that created social traumas and disasters in an unprecedented scope. The pressure-driven and unwilling mass displacement of populations, human communities becoming refugee communities, and thus emigration and immigration are among the priority social problems in not only Turkey, but in many other countries as well. One of the key aspects of achieving a healthy and less problematic recovery process for such traumatized contexts and communities lies in providing a form of temporary residency that facilitates and/or enables social, cultural and spatial adaptation. While the temporality of residency may refer to occupancy period the life provided within may embrace all types of social needs and interaction. As such architecture emerges as one of the major agents that has a crucial role in fostering environments that provide socially and spatially nourishing and welcoming temporary residencies. The rebuilding in post-trauma contexts in this sense, can take different forms, from new constructions to transforming existing buildings, such as abandoned industrial complexes and buildings; shopping malls, commercial centers and bus stations that are under used or will be out of use. It can also be conceived as a productive act whereby spaces can be obtained via architectural megastructures that are open to growth and change. Thus, considering that cities and buildings are not static entities and are ever-changing, in some cases due to such reasons as mentioned above, prefabricated, replaceable units, that is units that are easily attached and readily removable when their lifespan is over or when a new need emerges, may serve as a feasible alternative solution to rebuild the trauma contexts. The 1960s avant-garde ideas, for example, may well be revisited in a contemporary perspective. The recent Elazığ earthquake suggested that architecture can respond to the issue of rebuilding, that comes to the fore during post-trauma periods, by developing new alternatives of urban and social restoration. The studio will dwell upon this fact to discuss aspects and options of spatial production in traumatized contexts. While the context chosen is Elazığ, the project area/s in the city will be determined in the course of the studio and in collaboration with the municipal and academic authorities of the city. The proposals accordingly, will tackle with such issues that arise in post-trauma periods like rebuilding, urban/building transformation, new building, social adaptation, temporality versus permanency.

PROJECTS