Urban pornography: Anti-places of modern architectural heritage in Turkey
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Places are distinctive yet sometimes architecture may degrade them by design: Rebuilding the same architectural entity may not always reproduce the authentic place and its attributes but instead create anti-places in the urban environment, which may absorb and deprive the surrounding settings by creating sameness. The term pornography here has no erotic connotations but describes an image-oriented anti-design attitude, the way architects may create anti-places by copying, pasting, overemphasizing, and thus, objectifying certain place attributes. The urban-scape exposed by architectural design and deprived of its dignity is urban pornography. The paper focuses on two examples from Turkey: The Turkish Monopoly Liquor and Cognac Factory (Mecidiyeköy, Istanbul; Rob Mallet-Stevens, 1930), now rebuilt as Mecidiyeköy Towers (EAA, Istanbul, 2010-2017) and the Sait Bey and Semih Rüstem villas (Atatürk Street, Adana; Semih Rüstem Temel, 1932), now rebuilt as Semih Rüstem Commercial Center (MArS Architects, Istanbul, 2006-2012), both with a more than 10-fold increase in built area. The reconstruction in both cases was based on a declaration of being unfit in terms of function and technology beyond the obvious urban pressure of increasing the built-up area. Although both listed, the reconstructions did not preserve any characteristics or original architectural elements except for the general form and parts of the authentic names. Ultimately, the paper identifies this eradication of character and the creation of anti-places upon the case studies, perhaps the greatest threat against modern architectural heritage in urban areas. © of the edition, docomomo International © of the images, their authors and © of the texts, their authors.