Walking around Chinatown I was always perceiving the street fronts as not-permeable, neon sign decorated shields of family businesses, gold shops, food corners and tasty deserts. Nevertheless, the backdrop of these shields embraces behind itself the reminiscence of the organic city, labyrinths that seem “without purpose”, micro open spaces, entrances to homes, shrines, temples, markets..Read More
Fairly romanticized vintage cinema spaces in the city have been torn down by both the modernization of our personal lifestyles and rapid urbanization processes resulting with gentrification. Perceiving the difference in approach towards historical places in the cities in Europe and Asia, it has been a while now I have been asking myself the question and teaching the importance of preserving interfaces of different historical periods from the city’s incremental growth. Once the muscles have become weak it seems too often that everyone is keen to replace the skeleton with a new building-body. Perhaps it is always the right time for reconsidering the historical places and what they mean in constructing the identity of the city as a potential to experience the timeline carrying of a territory while in the same time acknowledging processes of reuse and requalification.Read More
It has been a long time now that I have been meaning to cross the door to the internal alleys. Last week my kind students took me on a journey to the tamed komshi kapigik.
*kapigik-small door on the fence between two houses (Turkish: kapi) giving the possibility for neighbors to meet and communicate.
Every block in Chinatown embraces within its heart an invisible network of private alleys. Similarly to something made from substance translucent, most of the people come and go without ever finding out that they have existed. Their formation isn’t questionable; individual and row houses fill up the inside with much density.Read More
One can literally get lost here inside the spontaneous architecture maze. The insider alleys are leading you to what the bare skin of the city is, its true forces, failures and perhaps not-place-for-all. Compounds of superimposed paths, markets, extensions, physical shelters and stairs create a large scale abdomen of informalised urban fabric. From time to time the abdomen is penetrated by openings, allowing light and air to reach the ground and remind us once again to indulge into appreciation.Read More