Understanding the transformation of low-rise apartment housing unit plans in Istanbul: An interpretation model and analysis of the changing syntax and semantics for housing space organization

Şalgamcıoğlu M. E., Ünlü A.

in: Sustainability: Innovative Urban Spaces, Vulnerabilities and Opportunities, R.G. Mira, A. Dumitru , Editor, Institute Of Psychosocial Studies And Research “Xoan Vicente Viqueira”, A Coruña, pp.241-262, 2014

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Publisher: Institute Of Psychosocial Studies And Research “Xoan Vicente Viqueira”
  • City: A Coruña
  • Page Numbers: pp.241-262
  • Editors: R.G. Mira, A. Dumitru , Editor
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The issue herein is the theory and factors that influence changes in the meaning and

spatial organization of housing plans. This study also addresses the use of analy-
ses to interpret domestic spaces. Housing plans of İstanbul’s expanded downtown

neighborhoods were analyzed to support this aim. The semantics of housing plans,

which are affected by the physical structure of apartment plans and their spatial ar-
rangements are studied.

This study involves certain key factors that affected Istanbul apartments’ social
and structural transformation or revolution process. Certain laws and regulations
of building construction and zoning in Istanbul, which were changed several times
since 1930s, may reflect the transforming morphology of apartment-housing unit
spaces. So, it is relevant to discuss transforming and developing domestic space in
Istanbul in this context. This research aims to discern the phenomenon underlying

this change by focusing on its defining moments. Connections with policy are dis-
cussed at those points at which laws and regulations critically influence transforma-
tions of domestic spaces that are addressed by this study.

Syntactic and semantic reflections on housing production and occupation in rela-
tion with domestic space that is affected by the variables technology and law are

analyzed. Changes in apartment living spaces through technological advances, such
as contributions from mechanical heating systems and TV, compose certain specific
turning points in this process.