About Project

Civil Architectural Heritage of Ankara between 1930-1980: Research, Documentation and Conservation Standards Developing Project

Purpose of the Project

The purposes of the Civil Architectural Heritage of Ankara between 1930-1980: Research, Documentation and Conservation Standards Developing Project were drawing attention to civil architecture structures, doing research, documenting, and installing a Virtual City Archive (Museum) as well as putting forward the qualities of these structures as cultural heritage to provide conservation so as to develop standards.

Research duration was estimated to three years. The focus was residences built between a period which is important and specific to modern period discourses, which were built in similarly important and specific the city of Ankara. The project is carried out by Prof. Dr. Nuray Bayraktar and supported by TÜBİTAK and Koç University VEKAM.

Scope of the Project

The project -with the assessment that while the official is emphasized in Turkey civilian is mostly neglected- urged upon that civil architectural structures particularly residences must be perceived as objects that are subjected to severe change and lost. This problem has been argued in the context of the architectural circles with the awareness of its relations to urban development, population increase, political and economic approaches, codes, and regulations.

Even if the project was held as a research and documentation project, the project team’s sensitivity and concerns on this issue made it compulsory to write a theoretical framework. So as to provide means to new approaches, enumerated problematics have been developed by the project team as well as answers were searched: Civil architecture structures specifically residences is a neglected field in architectural historiography; residences are almost non-existent within the scope of architectural historiography with a limited number exceptions; specific to residences civil architectural conservation is a field which is neglected; residences are not included into conservation projects. Within this scope “Civil Architecture in Historiography Workshop” on 14th December 2012 and “Civil Architecture in Conservation” on 24th December 2013 were organized, and these two titles were discussed in academic circles. By these means, the project brought its views of inserting the residence structures into historiography and draw the attention of the architectural circles to residences to extend the scope of conservation forward.

On the other hand, the project was held as a civil architectural memory project concerning the public buildings and public spaces memory with the perspective that residences are imperative for a civil memory formation. When its active role is considered within the nation-building process, Ankara’s specification is clear. Ankara’s city image always refers to the state. Civil architecture cannot fit into this image. The project, within this context, emphasizes civil architecture specifically residences and at the same time, it has the vision that the gathered data forms a potential for a civil architectural memory.

Project Methodology


The project methodology is research, documentation, and Virtual City Archive (Museum) installment.

Project Duration

Ankara, in consequence of its urban development, was held in three steps accordingly the project was finished in three years.

First-Year Studies: Yenimahalle, Keçiören, Altındağ, and Mamak municipality borders determining Ulus as the center, was surveyed to research, documentation, and database formation.

Second-Year Studies: Cebeci, İncesu, Maltepe, Anıttepe, Bahçelievler, and Emek districts determining Kızılay as the center, was surveyed to research, documentation, and database formation.

Third-Year Studies: Küçükesat, Seyran Bağları, Ayrancı, Çankaya, and Gazi Osman Paşa districts determining Kavaklıdere as the center, was surveyed to research,


The research was held as a versatile phase.

Surveys were carried out as street scanning. Identified structures were photographed, and predisposed identification cards were filled. Some standards that were defined by the project team were applied in the identification of the structures. These standards are defined as:

  • To be original as to formation decisions
  • To reflect the period’s architectural characteristics, representing the period
  • To form a texture
  • To be built as a result of a competition
  • To be referred to in the literature
  • To be built with new construction technologies
  • To be original as to the interior design solutions
  • To be original as to detail solutions
  • To be original as to the materials
  • To be procured by the economic-politic approaches of the period
  • To be a witness to important social events
  • To leave a trace within the collective memory of the city

Identification with a literature survey were carried out with:

  • Arkitekt Journal scanning
  • Mimarlık Journal scanning
  • Chamber of Architects Ankara Office Bulletin’s scanning
  • Architects’ publishing scanning
  • Book scanning
  • Article scanning
  • Thesis scanning

As well as:

Arkitera (www.arkitera.com), Arkiv (www.arkiv.com.tr) and Mimarlık Müzesi (www.mimarlikmuzesi.org) virtual archives were scanned to determine the structures that were presented in these archives.  Also, the structures that took part in DOCOMOMO presentations, structures that were subjects of other researches and structures that were deemed suitable for the presentation were taken into consideration.

Some of the structures that were determined as research subjects within the “AH 544 Architectural History Research Studio: The Modern Capital Ankara” course that is conducted by Prof. Dr. Elvan Altan Ergut were taken into consideration.

Some of the structures that were determined as architectural model subjects within the “ARCH104 Graphic Communication” course conducted by Assoc. Prof. Dr. M. Haluk Zelef were taken into consideration.


Documentation consisted of physical documentation, period documentation, and oral history documentation. The studies within this phase of the project were held for each structure that the project involved.

Physical Documentation

Tender document were examined, identification information and architectural projects were installed to the data base. Structures were photographed with professional support, and they were installed to the database. 3D modelings of the structures that were changed or destroyed were made with professional support and they were installed to the database. The researches and publications regarding the structures were installed to the database. The presentations regarding the structures were installed to the database. Maps on which the structure is located were installed to the database.

Period Documentation

A text that focuses on the findings of the structure file examination and its period’s importance; structure’s formation decisions, plan solutions, and space construction. This text is installed to the data base.

Oral History Documentation

Users of the structure were searched for. Users were asked about the structures planning, construction phase, daily activities after the construction that took place with the structure. Oral debriefings were documented by video-interviews and tape-recordings. These recordings are installed to the database. Furthermore, the records were transcribed into text and installed to the database.

The findings of the project which essentially is a research and documentation study is shared with a wider audience via the web with the notion of that the data has the potential to enable new discussions and it will also be an important base to these discussions.

Project Team & Project Outcomes

Project team

Proje Yürütücüsü
Prof. Dr. Nuray BAYRAKTAR
Doç. Dr. Bülent BATUMAN
Yrd. Doç. Dr. Umut ŞUMNU
Tezcan Karakuş CANDAN
Elif Selena AYHAN
Ece Akay ŞUMNU
Aslı TUNCER, 1. Yıl Bursiyeri
Didem BAHAR, 2. Yıl Bursiyeri
Emine Çiğdem ASRAV, 3. Yıl Bursiyeri
Gönüllü Katkı
Selim ÖZTÜRK, Başkent Üniversitesi
Seçil ÖZCAN, Başkent Üniversitesi
Profesyonel Katkı
Gökçen ERGÜVEN, Görsel Tasarım
Metehan ÖZCAN, Fotoğraf
Emin Özgür ÖZAKIN, Web Tasarım ve Modelleme

Project Outcomes

Within the scope of the projects, Civil Architecture in Historiography, Civil Architecture in Conservation books and Civil Architectural Memory: Ankara 1930-1980 exhibition catalog were published by VEKAM. Furthermore, national and international papers, articles, workshops, national and international exhibitions, presentations, and news bulletins are amongst the outcomes of the project.