Using Imitation As A Design Parameter In Gated Communities: The Case Of Istanbul

Gün A.

3rd International Conference on New Trends in Architecture and Interior Design, Helsinki, Finland, 28 - 30 May 2017, pp.41-53

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Helsinki
  • Country: Finland
  • Page Numbers: pp.41-53
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


There are different types of housing settlements that can be classified as planned
settlements, squatter prevention areas, urban transformation and social housing projects of Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) and the luxurious gated communities have spread throughout the cities of Turkey for many years. The number of gated communities is increasing day by day, especially in Istanbul. There are some reasons such as the emergence of new elites and new lifestyles and the demand for physically secured housing settlements trigger this trend. These areas are claimed to propose a new lifestyle which includes distinguished neighbors, excellent social and healthy life. Moreover, advertisers and designers have imitated the historical and natural images of the city as design elements in order to market their projects, especially in the last 10 years.

Sinpaş Bosphorus City, Sinpaş Palaces and Viaport Venezia are some gated community
projects which were designed by imitating the original areas or buildings such as Istanbul
Bosphorus, Istanbul Palaces and Venice City. The other common feature of these projects is that they are located far from the city center. Developers buy project lands at low prices, then they develop projects with attractive concept by using the natural and historical images of the city and sell houses at high prices. They use this tactic as a market strategy regardless of ethical subjects. They develop new mottos like “Bosphorus come to Halkalı”, “If you have a house in Sinpaş Bosphorus City, you feel as if you live in a house near Istanbul Bosphorus”, “We offer you a Venezia and Venezian lifestyle in European side of Istanbul”.

This study aims to examine using imitation as a design parameter in gated community areas. In this context, Sinpaş Bosphorus City is selected as a case area. Firstly, physical analyses are prepared by making field study and literature reviews. Then, current social image and perception of users are examined by making questionnaires with people who reside in these areas. After all, physical and social values and problems are determined. This study shows that developer of gated communities which use historical and natural images of cities sell only simulacrums of excellent lifestyles so there is a large gap between advertisements’ mottos and reality.