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The Façade Language in the Apartment Designs of Melih Koray, a Productive Figure of 1960-1980 Period [Megaron]
Megaron. 2021; 16(3): 454-467 | DOI: 10.14744/megaron.2021.03264  

The Façade Language in the Apartment Designs of Melih Koray, a Productive Figure of 1960-1980 Period

Efsun Ekenyazıcı Güney, Hande Tulum Okur
Bahcesehir University, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Istanbul

This study covers an analysis of the dwelling culture of Kadıköy, Istanbul in 1960-1980 through apartment typology in the context of a neglected prominent figure; Melih Koray’s designs. Apartment dwelling type which was observed in late 19th century is one of the primary spatial reflections of Turkish architectural practice in the context of dwelling culture. Due to new construction materials, techniques and introducing optimum comfort for many families through different units, apartment buildings were differentiated from the precursor dwelling types. Due to several reasons -the transformation of the national and international policies of the country, migration from the rural areas to Istanbul, the urban property ownership law, etc.-, this building type especially effects the architectural practice of the 1960-1980 period, and it rapidly becomes important and pervasive. When a literature analysis is conducted through Turkish architectural literature, it is observed that only the dwelling designs of the popular architectural figures of the era such as Emin Onat, Utarit İzgi, Sedad Hakkı Eldem are underlined and only a part of these dwellings are apartments. So, a gap in the literature of Turkish Architecture in the context of the specific era’s architectural figures, architectural practice; apartment as a dwelling unit is realized. Authors believe that it is important to bridge this gap and document selective examples of these apartments since the ongoing urban transformation process caused a demolishment of the representatives of 1960-1980 apartment buildings. In order to decipher the apartments of Kadıköy -one of the oldest dwelling settlements of Istanbul- built in 1960-1980, several site visits are conducted. Then a list of apartments that were selected by the authors according to their noteworthy façade language are prepared. After, an archival research in Kadıköy Municipality is employed to find additional information about these apartments and their designers. Authors figured out that there were numerous examples of apartments that were designed by various, anonymous architects. Melih Koray, who takes attention with his design language of apartments where a distinguished plan organization, façade design and aesthetical details are realized, is one of these figures. He designed more than 145 apartments in Kadıköy in the specific era. Since he is a neglected figure in the architectural literature, this research aims to concentrate on his apartment designs in 1960-1980 period through his façade design language. In order to analyze his apartment designs, authors reached the personal archive of the architect. They contacted Melih Koray’s son and an in-depth interview is conducted. Here, a personal notebook that Koray documented his designs of 1960-1980 period is found. Authors used this notebook to check if the apartments of Koray in the notebook which are mostly located in Kadıköy do still exist or not, through field study. When they figured out the existing ones -99 of them- they made a comparative analysis between the notebook and the Kadıköy Municipality Archives. After confirming that the existing apartments are his designs, authors listed these apartments, their names, construction dates and locations. Authors realized that the existing apartments of Koray had different facade organizations. Through the façades of apartments of Koray, authors also noticed that there are some common important notions that the architect used in his façade language. These notions can be classified as creating a façade language by the help of gridal elements, creating a rhythmic frame by the reflection of the structure, integrating functional elements to the façade, giving dynamism to the façade through three-dimensional elements, designing canopies to emphasize the entrances. Therefore, in the context of the study, Koray is emphasized with his various apartment designs in between 1960-1980 and with his façade language in these designs. The notions that he used in his apartment façades are discussed through selected samples and these designs are analyzed through the façade organizations. So, this study put emphasis to a neglected figure of Turkish architecture; Melih Koray and his apartment design language and aims to contribute to the architectural literature with the façade language of the apartment designs of Koray. Since Melih Koray is among a group of neglected architectural figures of the era, authors suggest concentrating on the other figures in the upcoming studies in order to contribute to architectural literature.

Keywords: 1960-1980 Turkish Architecture, apartment; façade design, Kadikoy; Melih Koray.


1960-1980 Yılları Arasının Üretken Figürlerinden Melih Koray’ın Apartman Tasarımlarındaki Cephe Dili

Efsun Ekenyazıcı Güney, Hande Tulum Okur
Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi Mimarlık ve Tasarım Fakültesi, İç Mimarlık ve Çevre Tasarımı Bölümü, İstanbul

Apartman, Türkiye mimarlık pratiğinin barınma kültürü bağlamındaki başat mekânsal karşılıklarından biridir. Bu yapı tipi özellikle 1960-1980 yılları arasında mimarlık pratiğini etkileyerek hızla önemli bir konut tipine dönüşmüş ve pek çok farklı mimarın tasarladığı sayısız örnek söz konusu olmuştur. Ancak Mimarlık ve Arkitekt dergilerinde yapılan dijital arşiv taraması üzerinden dönem literatürü incelendiğinde, sadece dönemin popüler figürlerinin konut tasarımlarından bahsedildiği ve bunların sadece bir kısmının apartman tasarımı olduğu görülmüştür. Halbuki Kadıköy Belediyesi’nde yapılan arşiv taramasında apartman tasarımı bağlamında farklı figürlerle karşılaşılmıştır. Bu figürlerden biri olan Melih Koray, 1960-1980 yılları arasında Kadıköy’de 145’ten fazla apartman tasarımına imza atan üretken bir isim olmuştur. Ancak özellikle özgün cephe dili ile dikkati çeken Koray’a literatürde -neredeyse- yer verilmemiştir. Bu noktada, Koray’ın apartman tasarımları üzerine bir çalışma yapılması önemlidir. Dolayısıyla çalışma kapsamında mimarın kişisel arşivine ulaşan yazarlar, arşivde yer alan ve çoğu Kadıköy’de bulunan apartmanların günümüzde mevcut olup olmadığını saha araştırması ile belirlemiş, belgelemiş ve ardından Kadıköy Belediyesi İmar Müdürlüğü Arşivi’nde bu yapıların her birini taramıştır. Yapılan araştırma, her ne kadar Koray’ın pek çok yapısı yıkılmış olsa da farklı cephe kurgularının denendiği ayakta kalan apartman tasarımlarının sayısının oldukça fazla olduğunu göstermektedir. Çalışma kapsamında, 1960-1980 yılları arasında yoğun apartman tasarımı etkinliği ve bu tasarımlarda oluşturduğu cephe dili ile anılabilecek Koray’a dikkati çekmek amaçlanmıştır. Bu çalışmada, mimarın apartman cephelerinde kullandığı unsurlar seçili örnekler üzerinden tartışılmış ve bu tasarımlar cephe çözümleri üzerinden analiz edilmiştir. Böylece Koray’ın apartman tasarımlarının cephe diline ilişkin bir okuma yapan bu çalışma, literatüre katkı sağlamayı hedeflemiştir.

Anahtar Kelimeler: 1960-1980, apartman; cephe tasarımı; Kadıköy; Melih Koray.


Efsun Ekenyazıcı Güney, Hande Tulum Okur. The Façade Language in the Apartment Designs of Melih Koray, a Productive Figure of 1960-1980 Period. Megaron. 2021; 16(3): 454-467

Corresponding Author: Efsun Ekenyazıcı Güney, Türkiye


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