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The ARCH+DSGN Summit in Istanbul was THE architecture and design event in Eastern Europe. The event took place within the scope of the exhibition of the iF DESIGN AWARD 2019 and also focused on the current trend topic “micro apartments and tiny houses”. The summit showcased the winner projects of the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2017, who submitted their concepts on the topic “micro apartments”.
urban equivalent of a tiny house—a small dwelling, typically under 30 square
meters, some as little as 10 — that is gaining popularity in pricey cities, where
larger apartments are financially out of reach”, said iF CEO Ralph Wiegmann in his keynote.
“The tiny house movement represents a shift toward an ecological and minimalist lifestyle where people consume only what they need."
there is a growing awareness for sustainability, tiny houses and micro
apartments are getting more and more popular. “The tiny house movement
represents a shift toward an ecological and minimalist lifestyle where people
consume only what they need. Tiny houses reduce the environmental impact of
owners’ homes by a significant margin”, said Wiegmann. There are many benefits
from a micro-apartment or tiny house, especially in cities, where housing
scarcity is growing.
Since the summit took place in a city that was recently proclaimed as an UNESCO City of Design, there are numerous talented, aspiring and internationally successful design offices and creatives in Istanbul. What is their turn on architecture and especially the tiny house movement? We talked to Özge Meriç and Volkan Taskin of Istanbul-based architecture and urban design office “degostudio” about architecture trends and housing habits in Turkey.
degostudio is an architecture and urban design office with global vision based in Istanbul, Turkey. Its portfolio consists of a diversified set of projects and scales, from urban design to interiors. Since its foundation, degostudio has collaborated with professionals from different fields of design, engineering, arts and technology to provide project and consulting services to a wide range of private and public sector clients. Founded in 2013 as Fullkontak by Volkan Taşkın and Batu Kepekçioğlu, the firm gained expertise in and recognition from civic and urban projects, including Urban Master Plans in Edirne and Gaziantep, Kamil Abduş Lake Urban Park and Single-Rowed Masjid in Istanbul.
the age of globalization, it would be very optimistic to talk about a
distinctive and isolated culture. In that sense, when one talks about
contemporary Turkish architecture, it is more about the local impacts of the global
architecture scene on that city and country. The scales of these cultural
impacts are determined by local factors, especially economical ones. In the
case of Turkey, the most important economical factor is the construction boom
of the last two decades. During this boom, Turkish architects did many projects
both at home and abroad, giving them expertise and confidence along with it.
The boom has increased both demand and supply of new projects at an exponential
rate. Thus, the Turkish architecture scene became more dynamic and driven. This
driven attitude meant shortened time-schedules with ever-increasing customer
demands. Compared to EU regions and other western countries, Turkish architects
provided almost same-quality designs in half –even quarter- of the time their
European counterparts had for design. That meant long working hours and harsh
competition for projects which toughened the new generation of architects. So
when we talk about a distinctive Turkish architecture, we don’t talk about
style and ornaments; a global style is mostly well received both by customers
and designers. So it is more about an aggressive and fruitful attitude towards
design that can be both hastily in the creation and seductive in the
degostudio: With the rise of conservative politics both at home and around the world, tradition gained momentum almost for the first time in the last hundred years. On the other hand, modernism, with century long exposure to everyday life, has also created its own traditions and legacies. Therefore, what tradition means today is not post-modernist escapism, but a search for a mutual ground between local values and global styles. The pure modernism of the early 20th Century is long gone and today being vernacular means being modern as well, as long as the designer molds that mutual ground into an unique piece of work. Therefore, the long-accepted centers vs. periphery arguments are slowly proving wrong to understand the emerging architecture scenes in Sub-Saharan Africa and Indochina. This is surely a victory for modernism, disguised as tradition in everyday conservative politics.
“Micro-apartments and other small housing typologies which are occupied by single white collars and young couples that ‘may’ live together without a marital union, are targets for conservative politics.”
degostudio: Turkey does not have a micro apartment culture like they have in Japan. However, there is an ongoing trend in the more efficiently planned smaller apartments especially in cities like Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir. On the other hand, the rising conservative politics utilizes housing as a beacon of their political space. Micro-apartments and other small housing typologies which are occupied by single white collars and young couples that “may” live together without a marital union, are targets for conservative politics. Recently, some cities have banned the building of 1+0 studio condos for the sake of “protecting the family and traditional values of life”. So it is again tradition versus contemporary life situation.
“In Turkish culture house is regarded as an incremental space; every open-space and semi-public area in and around the house is a potential addition to the core space.”
done a wide scope of housing projects from social housing to luxury residences.
Despite the major economic differences between the users of these projects,
there are still some major common things when it comes to home. First of all, in
Turkish culture house is regarded as an incremental space; every open-space and
semi-public area in and around the house is a potential addition to the core
space: balconies are enclosed and added to the living rooms; terraces turn into
winter gardens; terrace roofs are not just roofs, they are also slabs for new floors.
The notion of incremental space is deeply rooted in Turkish society based on
our nomadic ancestry, where “home” is a dynamic and modular concept that is
responsive to the families’ ever-changing needs.
Want to find out more? Go to the official page of the arch&design summit Istanbul here.