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An Example for Primary Schools in the Early Republican Era: Bursa İstiklal Primary School [Megaron]
Megaron. 2021; 16(3): 385-401 | DOI: 10.14744/megaron.2021.93206  

An Example for Primary Schools in the Early Republican Era: Bursa İstiklal Primary School

Aybike Sayın1, Burcu Selcen Coşkun2
1Building Design Theory and Methodology Graduate Program, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, İstanbul, Turkey
2Department of Architecture, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, İstanbul, Turkey

In the scope of the Kemalist ideological program during the 1920-30s, significant reforms in education were achieved. The transformation of education from the Ottoman system was especially evident in the architecture of the new school buildings. School buildings serving the emerging educational system started to be built throughout the country, conducing the youth to associate with a new architecture formed by modernist ideals. In the early period following the foundation of the Republic, the architectural style preferred for school buildings was the nationalist style, whereas starting from the 1930s modernist approach took over. The modernist facades were plain, without ornamentation, and reflected the function of the building. The interiors were also formed according to the demands of the function. The classrooms were planned in rectangular forms, enabling all pupils to have a clear sight of the blackboard. These buildings were masonry structures with concrete floors/ceilings. In later years reinforced concrete started to be used as a building material. Examples of modernist schools were built primarily in the new capital of the Republic and then spread all around the nation. These buildings, which are among the principal architectural production of the early Republican era, are today regarded as cultural heritage today, witnessing the taste, the spatial preferences, building technology, and materials of their times and carrying immense memory value. There is currently an increasing academic interest in these buildings. Some are represented in the list of Turkish modernist heritage prepared by DOCOMOMO Turkey and others are listed as cultural property. However, in recent years, modernist school buildings have been threatened by consolidation works, conducted due to current building regulations against earthquakes. These interventions cause them to lose their authentic features and modernist characteristics. The buildings are not well-protected due to the reasons like negligence and inappropriate usage. There is an urgent need to draw the attention of the public to the values of these buildings. Well-qualified examples of school buildings ought to be documented and introduced as part of the modernist architectural heritage of Turkey. The aim of the study is to investigate the values and conservation issues of modernist school buildings in Turkey. As an example for these schools, this paper also aims to introduce and highlight the architecture and the heritage values of İstiklal Primary School, as a modern heritage from the city of Bursa. It attempts to identify its existing conservation issues and make proposals for their solution. The study begins with a literature review related to early republican architecture. After giving a brief overview of school buildings from Turkey as part of the modern heritage, it then focuses on İstiklal Primary School from Bursa. The school is studied in detail in the scope of this paper with plans, old photos, and documents from archives. Short interviews with teachers are conducted to understand the contemporary values and problems caused by today’s use. In the light of these findings, the architectural features and conservation state of the school are determined. İstiklal Primary School was designed by Nedim Karakurd in 1932 (opened in 1934). It stands out as a model for modernist educational buildings in Bursa. Located in the Osmangazi district, the school’s plot was tagged as an educational area in 1940 Prost and 1960s Piccinato plans for Bursa. Its cubic architecture is a unique witness of the 1930’s architectural taste in the city. Two photo albums, dating to 1934 and 2002 from the archives of the school highlighted its history and helped to enhance the existing information. The school still serves as a state primary school today. Although an extension was built on the same courtyard in 2001, the modernist impact of the original design of the main building is still visible. Within the scope of this study, the authors applied for the listing of the building to the concerned authority and thus, the school was listed in December 2019. However, legal protection is not enough. There have been misfortunate demolitions of listed modernist heritage in the city, such as Demirtaşpaşa Vocational High School, due to their so-called structural weaknesses. In order to overcome the obstacles and lack of interest in the society against the protection of modernist heritage, there should be studies carried on to raise awareness on these buildings. The present study is considered to be important because it highlights the Istiklal Primary School which needs to be preserved in its integrity while being rehabilitated for future generations. With the condition that its cultural significance is treated with care, it has the potential to be included on a future modernist heritage route planned for Bursa city.

Keywords: Bursa, early Republican period; educational buildings; İstiklal Primary School; modern architecture.


Erken Cumhuriyet Dönemi İlköğretim Yapılarına Bir Örnek: Bursa İstiklal İlkokulu

Aybike Sayın1, Burcu Selcen Coşkun2
1Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi Mimarlık Fakültesi, Bina Bilgisi Yüksek Lisans Programı, İstanbul
2Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi Mimarlık Fakültesi, Mimarlık Bölümü, İstanbul

Cumhuriyet’in kuruluş yıllarında dönemin ideolojik programı çerçevesinde eğitim sisteminde önemli reformlar gerçekleştirilmiştir. Bu dönüşüm mekânsal olarak da karşılığını bulmuş ve yeni eğitim sistemine hizmet verecek okul yapıları ülkenin dört yanında hızla inşa edilmeye başlanmıştır. Ülkede en yaygın olarak inşa edilen eğitim yapıları ilkokullar olmuştur. 1930’lu yıllara kadar 1. Ulusal Mimari üslubunda okullar tasarlanırken, bu tarihten sonra Maarif Vekâleti bünyesinde kurulan inşaat bürosunun başına gelen Ernst Egli’nin de etkisiyle modernist üslupta tasarlanmış okulların tercih edildiği görülmektedir. Bu dönemden başlayarak özellikle cepheler, işlevi yansıtacak şekilde yalın bırakılmış, geometrik olarak düzenlenmiş kütleler ve teras çatılar hâkim mimari dil haline gelmiştir. Erken Cumhuriyet döneminin mimari üretiminin önemli bir dilimini oluşturan eğitim yapıları bugün mimari miras kapsamında değerlendirilmektedir. Giderek uzaklaşılan bir geçmişe ait bu yapıların nitelikli örneklerinin bir an önce belgelenip değerleri saptanarak koruma altına alınması gereklidir. Bursa’da 1934 yılında eğitime başlayan İstiklal İlkokulu mimar Nedim Karakurd tarafından kübik mimari tarzında tasarlanmıştır. Okul, bugün de aynı işlevi devam ettirmektedir. Derslik kapasitesini artırmak amacıyla 2001 yılında bahçesine inşa edilen ek bina, tasarımın bütüncüllüğüne zarar vermişse de Karadurd’un ilkokul tasarımına ait özgün mimari detaylar halen ana binada büyük ölçüde okunabilmektedir. Bu çalışma kapsamında ilkokul yönetimi tarafından tutulan arşivde yapının miras değerlerinin tanımlanmasında yardımcı olacak pek çok belgeye ulaşılmıştır. Bu belgeler ışığında makalenin yazarı tarafından ilgili koruma bölge kuruluna yapılan başvuru olumlu sonuçlanmış ve yapı 2019 yılında tescillenmiştir. Makalede İstiklal İlkokulu’nun mimarisi ve modern miras olarak sahip olduğu değerler tanıtılmış, var olan koruma sorunları irdelenmiş ve modern mimarlık mirasının koruma ilkeleri çerçevesinde geleceğine yönelik koruma önerileri sunulmuştur.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Bursa, eğitim yapıları; erken Cumhuriyet dönemi; İstiklal İlkokulu; modern mimarlık.


Aybike Sayın, Burcu Selcen Coşkun. An Example for Primary Schools in the Early Republican Era: Bursa İstiklal Primary School. Megaron. 2021; 16(3): 385-401

Corresponding Author: Aybike Sayın, Türkiye


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