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Henri Prost in Istanbul : urban transformation process of Taksim-Maçka valley (le parc n°2) and its historic urban landscape (HUL)

Pelin Bolca

Henri Prost in Istanbul : urban transformation process of Taksim-Maçka valley (le parc n°2) and its historic urban landscape (HUL).

Rel. Rosa Tamborrino, Fulvio Rinaudo. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Restauro E Valorizzazione Del Patrimonio, 2017


Cultural Heritage is a notion conceived and continuously changed in the last two centuries readapting theoretical assumptions practices and practices to new achievements and cultural developments. Nevertheless this notion also developed differently in different cultural and political frameworks, in Europe and in other countries.

In 1923, the foundation of the Republic of Turkey represented a significant turning point in Turkish history. It was the starting point of a modernization process that includes the change of the country’s political and social structure such as figures and symbols of the Ottoman Empire and their replacement with secular values for the new nation-state.

Shaping the cities according to modernization approach was also important. Thus, Republican authorities perceived urban planning as one of the principal works to form new state as well as to satisfy the needs of the industrial age. The fact that Istanbul was the old empire capital with the traditional Ottoman life, made it a perfect stage to bring the modern city life and to make the secular character of the new regime visible. Following this, in 1936, French architect Henri Prost was invited to conduct the planning of Istanbul. He was one of the leading figures of the first generation of French architects who contributed to the creation of the urbanism as a discipline. In addition, Prost was playing an important role in Musée Social which was an important and leading research center into city planning, social housing and labor organization in Paris. Prost’s new cities studies within the intellectual atmosphere of the Musée Social affected his works as well as his Istanbul plans.

Prost worked with conservative and modernist attitude and in his tenure of office, he worked for several urban studies such as masterplans and detailed projects. He based his studies of Istanbul on three principal issues: transportation (la circulation), hygiene (l’hygiène) and aesthetics (I’aesthetics). Regarding his hygiene issue on Istanbul, he proposed several public open spaces as defined with his words, espaces libres. Within these open space proposals, the largest public park proposal was for the urban region of ‘core of Pera’, which extends from the today’s Taksim Square to Maçka Valley where the modern city settlement has expanded. The park named Park No2 (pare n ’2) was not only a public park. He also included public building blocks with cultural, sportive and art functions. Such decisions taken by Prost show the area was not considered the park just as a recreation area, but as a green pattern with public services inside the city center.

As soon as, in 1950, the political policy was changed and a new regime came to power. Prost the following year (1951) was discharged from his position. Interrupted the plan and broken the perspectives given by Prost, over the time the area has been transformed by the planning decisions taken over time depending on the political, cultural and ideological changes.

The thesis aims to study contribute to shape the historical formation process of the area of Park No2 as a cultural heritage of modern Istanbul. The focus of this study is to understand and identify the dynamics of transformation and investigate the changing of significances and cultural values of the Taksim-Maçka Valley from the foundation of the Republic of Turkey to the present time by checking its deteriorations of the Prost’s legacy.

In order to be able to exemplify the case of Taksim-Maçka Valley within the framework drawn above 'digital urban history method’ (telling the history in the age of the ICT revolution) have been used. In this study, the method is used for obtaining, processing data/information and evolution of the outcomes. Obtaining of data had done through the light of various direct and indirect sources: literature view, site survey, visiting governmental agencies and archives. These data are processed through mainly using ArcGIS software and 3D modeling techniques.

Keywords: urban transformation, historical urban landscape, Henri Prost, modernization, Taksim, Maçka, digital urban history

Relators: Rosa Tamborrino, Fulvio Rinaudo
Publication type: Printed
Subjects: ST Storia > STC Archivi
ST Storia > STN Storia
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Restauro E Valorizzazione Del Patrimonio
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/6164







1.1 Aim and Scope

1.2 Methodology


2.1 General Description of Taksim Maçka Valley

2.2 Historical Development of Taksim Maçka Valley

2.2.1 Overview the Extensions of The Istanbul Towards Taksim Maçka Valley: From The First Period of 16th. Century To The Foundation of The Turkish Republic

2.2.2 Modernization Process: Early Republican Period

2.2.3 Successive Process: Multy-Party Republican Period


3.1 Overview of Henri Prost And Istanbul Plan (Henri Prost et plan directeur d’Istanbul)

3.2 The Masterplan of Istanbul For European Side-1937 (Le plan directeur de la rive européenne d'Istanbul)

3.2.1 General Definition of The Masterplan and The Program (Le programme du plan directeur)

3.2.2 Urban Transportation Project (Plan de référence)

3.2.3 Open Spaces (Espaces libres)

3.3 Henri Prost’s Departure From Istanbul

4 PARK NO 2 (Le Parc N°2)

4.1 General Definition Of The Preliminary Project (1938) and The Elaborated Plan(1940) of Park No 2

4.1.1 The Project of Taksim Square and Gezi Park: Never Implemented Project (Laplace de la République et l'esplanade Inônii à Taksim)

4.1.2 The Elaborated Plan Park No 2-1940

4.2 The Formation Process of Park No 2 (1938-1950)

4.2.1 Taksim Square and Gezi Park (Inônii Esplanade)

4.2.2 Maçka Valley


5.1 The First Period of 1950s To The Last Period of 1970s

5.1.1 Successive Implementations of Park No 2

5.1.2 Successive Implementations of Taksim Square and Gezi Park

5.2 The First Period of 1980s To The Last Period of 1990s

5.2.1 Successive Implementations of Park No 2

5.2.2 Successive Implementations of Taksim Square and Gezi Park

5.3 The First Period of 2000s To The Current Situation

5.3.1 Successive Implementations of Park No 2

5.3.2 Successive Implementations of Taksim Square and Gezi Park


6.1 Changes in the Significance of Taksim-Maçka Valley in the Urban Memory ..

6.2 Changes In The Urban Scale on The Original Perspectives

6.3 Changes of Taksim Square and Gezi Park in Photographs






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