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The Ottoman-Turkish House According to Architect Sedad Hakkı Eldem

A Refined Domestic Culture Suspended Between Europe and Asia
Serena Acciai

Résumés

Cet article présente une recherche inédite basée sur l'étude de la très vaste correspondance de l’architecte turque Sedad Hakkı Eldem. Il propose une analyse de la part de la production épistolaire de l'architecte turque qui porte sur l’extension géographique de la maison turco-ottomane. La redécouverte de l’architecture traditionnelle a joué un rôle primordial dans la formation en Turquie d’une identité nationale, phénomène qui se retrouve également dans les pays du bassin méditerranéen voisins. Les lettres de Sedad Hakkı Eldem permettent d'établir un réseau de correspondants, venant de tout le monde ottoman, qui enquêtaient sur l’étendue et la diversité des maisons dites turco-ottomanes. Elles offrent également un panorama des relations professionnelles de Eldem, de ses théories ainsi que de ses passions architecturales, donnant ainsi un aperçu plus personnel de cet architecte surtout connu comme l’« architecte d’État ».

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  • 1 Sedad Hakkı Eldem, “La maison turque,” unpublished text prepared for L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui i (...)

Tâchons d’abord d’exposer en raccourci ce que nous entendons par « maison turque ». C’est un type de maison qui s’est développé depuis l’arrivée des Turcs ottomans en Anatolie dans les régions comprises entre la Syrie et la Perse, vers l’Orient, la Roumanie et la Hongrie, vers l’Occident. Il est vrai que, vu l’étendue de ces contrées, il ne peut pas être question d’un seul et unique type commun. Chaque région y a sûrement mis son apport, et beaucoup d’influences se sont fait sentir à travers les siècles. Pourtant la maison turque se différencie nettement de la maison arabe et persane, ainsi que des types de maison de l’Europe centrale.1

  • 2 Marie de Launay, L’architecture ottomane, ouvrage autorisé par iradé impérial et publié sous le pat (...)
  • 3 Edhem Eldem, Un Ottoman en Orient: Osman Hamdi Bey en Irak, 18691871, Arles: Actes sud, 2010 (Sinb (...)
  • 4 Halil Edhem Eldem, Le palais de Topkapou (Vieux Sérail), Istanbul: Librairie Kanaat, 1931.
  • 5 Halil Edhem Eldem, Nos mosquées de Stamboul [trans. Ernest Mamboury], Istanbul: Librairie Kanaat, 1 (...)
  • 6 Sibel Bozdoğan, Suha Özakan and Engin Yenal, Sedad Eldem: Architect in Turkey, Singapour; New York, (...)

1Sedad Hakkı Eldem (19081988) was born at the sunset of the Ottoman Empire, in an aristocratic family that had a prominent role in the diffusion of Ottoman-Turkish art and culture throughout the world. The first important example of this family engagement was an impressive in-folio publication for the Universal Exposition of 1873 in Vienna, commissioned by Sedad's great grand-father Ibrahim Edhem Paşa.2 Osman Hamdi Bey,3 Ibrahim EdhemPaşa’s oldest son, was the founder of the Archeology Museum and the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, and is considered to be the pioneer of the profession of museum curatorship in Turkey. His brother, Halil Edhem Eldem, wrote a series of educational books about the Topkapı Palace,4 as well as a book about the mosques of Istanbul.5 Sedad's father, Alişanzade Ismail Hakkı Bey, was a member of the foreign service and a refined intellectual. Sedad Hakkı Eldem was to become the most well-known architect of modern Turkey6, as well as a recognized exponent of modernism, although he did not belong to the network of CIAM [Congrès internationaux d'architecture moderne]. Being part of such an influential family opened to him, even before he was of school age, to vast culture influence, and facilitated personal connections with intellectuals from all over the world.

2The most prominent topic in the work of Sedad was the study of the Turkish House. No other person was as comprehensive, devoted and productive as he was in bringing the traditional Turkish house back to life through his own architectural experience. The essential characteristics of this building type, and its possible variations depending on the site, represent the main trait of Sedad's work and also his main legacy.

Nationalisms” and vernacular architecture

  • 7 Jelena Bogdanović, “On the Architecture of the Konaks in Serbia (1804–30s),” Serbian Studies: Journ (...)

3Already from the first half of the nineteenth century incidents of strong nationalist sentiment were presenting themselves in various countries of the by now weakened Ottoman empire. In Serbia, for instance, which was a province of the Ottoman Empire with increased autonomy after 1815, and structured as the semi-independent Principality of Serbia, the aristocracy chose to live in konak, or mansions that had belonged to the Ottoman élite, thereby validating this type of architecture as part of the cultural patrimony of the country.7

  • 8 See Luisa Ferro, In Grecia, archeologia, architettura, paesaggio, Cuneo: Araba Fenice, 2004 (Trebis (...)
  • 9 Eric J. Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, L'invenzione della tradizione [First published as The Inventio (...)

4In Greece, which became partially independent from the Empire in 1832, the interest in traditional Greek culture took off with the pro-Hellenistic movement,8 which was tied to the War of Independence. After the fall of the Empire following World War I, and the division of the lands, every new nation had to declare its own identity, with each evaluating its own traditions. Often these traditions, some of which have revealed themselves to be “invented,9 stemmed historiographies and preconceptions, which should be taken into consideration. The nature of tradition remains an open question in many cultures still today.

  • 10 Tülay Artan, “Questions of Ottoman Identity and Architectural History, in Dana Arnold, Elvan A. Er (...)
  • 11 Also Cerasi has expressed this concept. See Maurice Cerasi, La Città del Levante, civiltà urbana e (...)

5Tülay Artan notes that research on the origins of the Ottoman house has been, for quite some time, tied to a nationalistic context.10 Indeed, he argues that the Turkish house with an open hall (hayat), courtyard (avlu) and projections (çikma), had been reclaimed by other nations as well after the end of the Empire.11

  • 12 Esra Akcan, Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey, & the modern house, Durham, NC: Duke Univ (...)

6In the evolution of architecture in Turkey the traditional house was taken, at some point, as a source of inspiration for the creation of a national identity, and as a model for modern architecture12.

  • 13 Regarding the problematic relationship between Ottoman history and Turkish historiography, see Edhe (...)
  • 14 Esra Akcan asserts that, in architecture, Turkish quickly became an all-encompassing category refer (...)

7In analyzing this issue, one must remember that the awareness of Turkish heritage during the twentieth century began with a period of war and violence, which coincided with the development of Turkish national identity. In architecture, when the “invention” of Turkish heritage started to take shape (and within it, the idea that the house was the symbol of the “origins”), the complexity of cultures, voices and peoples united by the Ottoman Empire were reduced to a single voice13 and absorbed into the term Turkish.14

  • 15 See “The Evolution of Vernacular Architectural Tendencies in Turkey, a personal contribution and tr (...)

8Sedad Eldem's position on this theme is complex. Although Eldem was well aware of the transnational character of the Ottoman house, he purposefully chose not to employ the term “Ottoman,” because of the reactionary characters that this term entailed during the 1930s. He chose to use the word “Turkish” instead. In so doing, the cosmopolitan ethos of the Ottoman was set aside to give place to a more modern identity. Turkey needed to affirm its sovereignty by celebrating its own traditions and thus had to reduce the consuetude of Western architects working there that were changing the face of its territory. 15

  • 16 See Eldem's book 7, 1929–1930, sketchbooks in Esra Akcan, Architecture in translation, op. cit. (no (...)
  • 17 Sibel Bozdoğan, Modernism and Nation Building: Turkish Architectural Culture in the Early Republic, (...)
  • 18 See Sedad H. Eldem, “Toward a Local Idiom […],” op. cit. (note 15), p. 90.
  • 19 Sedad H. Eldem, “Millî Mimarî Meselesi [The Question of National Architecture], Arkitekt, no. 9–10 (...)

9At the national level, Eldem was hoping for architecture to find a new “Turkish” path. This new way would ideally overcome the neo-Ottoman tendencies that carried imperialistic overtones and, at the same time, go beyond the western vision of architecture that implicated international concepts and “colonialism,” and which did not incorporate the essential Turkish contribution.16 This new architecture, for Sedad Eldem, ought to be modern and, therefore, national.17 Eldem strongly asserted that Turkey should have its own modern architectural language, and that it should not merely be an oriental version of European architecture.18 He also affirmed that a modern country must have its own national architects.19

  • 20 Sibel Bozdoğan, Modernism and Nation Building, op. cit. (note 17), p. 260.

10His targets here were both the Ottoman revival known as the “First National Style” and the “Cubic Style” or “Ankara Cubic”.20 The former movement combined Ottoman forms and stylistic motifs with European design principles and was mainly promoted by Vedat Tek and Giulio Mongeri, who were Eldem's teachers at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul. The latter style was led by Ernst Egli (1893–1974) and Clemens Holzmeister (1886–1983) and advocated the coexistence of International Style principles with an architectural language that, according to Western architects, evoked the Anatolian genius loci.

  • 21 Ibid., p. 260–266. Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi Plan Tipleri [Turkish House plan], Istanbul: Istanbul T (...)
  • 22 Sedad H. Eldem, “Eski bir Türk evi [An ancient Turkish house],” Mimar, vol. 3, no. 39, March 1934, (...)
  • 23 Eldem himself referred to this experience using the same wording. See Sedad H. Eldem, “Toward a Loc (...)
  • 24 See Sibel Bozdoğan and Esra Akcan, Turkey: Modern Architectures in History, London: Reaktion Books, (...)

11The young Sedad had chosen to base the core of his design research on the Turkish house entity. He ended up publishing a multi-volume encyclopedia on the topic.21 Until the 1930s the type had not been studied as such because the analysis of national architecture in Turkey had been confined to monuments and public buildings. Furthermore, Eldem maintained that, due to lack of upkeep and care, these buildings were soon to disappear, and for this reason “the study of civil Turkish architecture had become a question of maximum urgency”.22 These specific objectives were pursued at the “Seminars on the national architectural style” at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul,23 which were instituted in 1932 thanks to the joint efforts of Ernst Egli and Sedad Eldem.24 These seminars had the merit of forming a generation of architects that were aware of the architectural value of the traditional Turkish house. Eldem's pupils such as Turgut Cansever (1921–2009) and Nezih Eldem (1921–2005) were strongly influenced in their architectural work by this academic training. This pioneering experience ended at the Academy when in 1948 a fire destroyed the whole building.

Figure 1: Photographs at the “Seminars on the national architectural style,” Konya notebooks.

Figure 1: Photographs at the “Seminars on the national architectural style,” Konya notebooks.

Source: Istanbul (Turkey), Rahmi M. Koç Museum.

  • 25 Tülay Artan, “Questions of Ottoman Identity and Architectural History, op. cit. (note 10), p. 86.
  • 26 Sedad H. Eldem, “Elli Yıllık Cumhuriyet Mimarlığı [Fifty Yearly Republican Architecture],” Mimarlık(...)

12As Tülay Artan has observed, the choice to study “civil architecture” was the manifestation of Republican Nationalist ideology, in which the antiquated monumental buildings were considered “Ottoman,” while the modern civic architecture was claimed as “Turkish”.25 According to Eldem, the main achievement of the seminars was the discovery that the Turkish house had a close affinity with modern architecture. It was established “that its characteristics were contained in a wide range of housing styles and architectural principles starting from those of the ancient Chinese and extending right down to those of such modern masters as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier”.26

  • 27 Sibel Bozdoğan, “The Legacy of an Istanbul Architect: Type, Context and Urban Identity in the Work (...)

13Sibel Bozdoğan points out that Sedad Hakki Eldem saw contemporary features in the traditional Turkish house: for him, this building type was remarkably similar to the concept of the modern house.27 Characteristics such as ample windows, lightness, transparency, the free plan and modular logic, all of which lent themselves to skeletal construction, were reinterpreted in reinforced concrete by Sedad Eldem in his own designs. Eldem was probably aware of a growing nationalistic interest for the “vernacular house type” in other, formerly Ottoman, countries.

  • 28 Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi: Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses: Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Taç Vakfı yayı (...)

The Ottoman house existed for a time as the result of a refined domestic culture suspended between Europe and Asia. It crossed frontiers and enlarged its scope in company with a powerful and culturally healthy nation. … After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, housing in the old Ottoman land manifested a variety of interpretations of the Turkish vernacular type, as a part of their Ottoman heritage. The tendencies in these new countries was to accept, to absorb and even to identify themselves with this heritage, by and large ... .28

14Eldem's dual nature of thought on the topic, which considered simultaneously the Turkish house as a local and global archetype, can be best explained by the historic moment in which he lived and worked. His family background, along with his status as an intellectual straddling two worlds, allowed him to apprehend the geographical scope of the diffusion of the Ottoman house type. At the same time, the zeitgeist of his era forced him to express his own ideas and beliefs in a quite cautious way. As will be shown below, his letters increase the knowledge of the geographic sphere of Eldem's study of the Turkish house. Furthermore, the contents of his epistolary corpus should be considered an “end point” of Eldem's thoughts on this subject.

From Italy to the Balkans

  • 29 For a more ample discussion on this topic see ABE Journal, no. 9–10, 2016, Dossier “Dynamic Vernacu (...)
  • 30 David Crowley, “National Modernisms, in Christopher Wilk (ed.), Modernism 19141939: Designing a N (...)
  • 31 These pictures are stored with other old photographs of New York (probably taken by Eldem during hi (...)
  • 32 Giuseppe Pagano Pogatschnig (Parenzo, 1896Mauthausen,1945) was an Italian architect who was also t (...)
  • 33 Ibid.

15Adopting vernacular architecture, in particular domestic architecture, as a sign of a new nation, or a nation in search of its own symbolic representation, was a common phenomenon during the 1930s with the spread of totalitarian regimes.29 The “house” concept was elevated to the status of a national symbol: it was the expression of daily life of ordinary people and strongly influenced the quality of domestic space as a representation of a country's tradition. This undoubtedly formed a consensus with the masses. A strong parallel can be made with the situation in Italy at the time, both at the political and architectural level. Kemalist Turkey and Fascist Italy were particularly receptive to modernism;30 Sedad himself was interested in Italian modernism. In fact, his archives contained several unpublished pictures of the EUR area in Rome.31 In Italy, Sedad’s research echoes the quest of Giuseppe Pagano (1896-1945)32 at the Triennale of Milan in 1936, with the exhibition Architettura Rurale Italiana. Pagano’s interest in studying rural houses was to highlight the functionalism already inherent in these buildings and to show vernacular typology as a source for the creation of modern architecture that had its roots in this built patrimony. Unlike the study seminars in Turkey, Pagano’s research33 on the spontaneous (i.e. vernacular) architecture of Italy could not be as systematic or comprehensive, because of the great variety of building types across Italy.

Figure 2: Eldem's pictures of the EUR area in Rome around 1939.

Figure 2: Eldem's pictures of the EUR area in Rome around 1939.

Source: Istanbul (Turkey), Rahmi M. Koç Museum.

Figure 3: The Halıcı Izzet House in Bursa, seventeenth century. Drawings by S. H. Eldem.

Figure 3: The Halıcı Izzet House in Bursa, seventeenth century. Drawings by S. H. Eldem.

Source: Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses, Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Turkiye anit çevre turizm değerlerini koruma vakfı, 1984.

  • 34 Michelangelo Sabatino, L'orgoglio della modestia, Architettura moderna italiana e tradizione vernac (...)

16This experiment had the strength to shake the Italian architectural scene and to emphasize a theme always present in Italian architecture. Michelangelo Sabatino has argued that since the time of the Renaissance the rural world was engaged in an incessant dialogue with the urban world, changing the nature of architecture on the Italian peninsula forever.34

  • 35 Concerning the housing work of Pagano see Claudia Cagneschi, La costruzione razionale della casa, s (...)
  • 36 Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi, op. cit. (note 28), p. 26.

17The Palladian Villas in the Veneto region of Italy are one of the best examples of this phenomenon, thanks to the coexistence in Palladio’s model designs of monumental and rural buildings linked together through a garden. Both in Italy and Turkey, correlations between the vernacular house and the villa/palace type had an essential role in the definition of modern architecture.35 An example of this trend is Villa Colli designed by Pagano and Gino Levi Montalicini. The villa was an opportunity for the two architects to prove their convictions on the modernity of vernacular architecture. Built in 1929–1930 for the Colli family in Rivara near Turin, the villa was conceived as a "modern cottage" reminiscent of rural alpine architecture. The plan is organized using a strongly symmetrical design whose center is located in the double-height grand entrance hall, which distributes the surrounding spaces. This hall also functions as an internal courtyard and has an undeniable functional similarity with the sofa of Turkish/Ottoman homes. It is necessary to underline that in Italy that type of villa has remained bound to the unsurpassed experience of Palladio's Venetian Villas, which, from a typological point of view, are quite close to the Ottoman-Turkish house with central sofa (orta sofalı tip). Eldem often highlighted the importance of the relationship between house and palace in Ottoman-Turkish architecture and, in the text “The Sultane House Type,”36 identifies the oldest examples of a Turkish house, the archetype of this kind of building. “The Sultane Structure” was a description of a type of building with a raised floor that had a pillared hall in front and a double balustrade staircase in the center. To describe the “Sultane type,” Eldem refers to the Halıcı Izzet House of Bursa and shows the difference between this kind of building (diffuse around Edirne and in the valley of Meriç) and the classical Anatolian house, where the rooms are in a row behind a portico-hall and surrounded by a U-shaped wall. Eldem explains that these houses with a classical symmetrical form are almost like pavilions or little palaces. In Turkey the house is a most treasured, prized thing and a source of great pride. It is interesting here to point out the similarities between this description of the classical Anatolian house and Eldem's design for the Raif Meto House, elaborated for the town of Adana in 1941. The project for this small home was a modern reinterpretation of the traditional Anatolian house.

  • 37 Alberto Ferlenga, Pikionis (18871968), Milan: Electa stampa, 1998.
  • 38 Eleni Bastéa, “Dimitris Pikionis and Sedad Eldem: Parallel Reflections of Vernacular and National A (...)
  • 39 See Iaonna Theocharopoulou, “Nature and The People, The Vernacular and the Search for a True Greek (...)
  • 40 Omada Filon: group of intellectuals, including Pikionis, who wanted to create a new “language of th (...)

18During the 1930s in Greece, the work of Dimitri Pikionis (1887–1968)37 can be seen to have had some analogies with that of Eldem.38 However, it is necessary to take into account the experience of Aris Konstantinidis (1913–1993) and his commitment to the study of old Athenian houses.39 Within the cultural movement known as Omada Filon,40 an awareness of the value of traditional architecture developed. In fact, in 1938, an exhibition titled “The Exhibit of Rural Art” was organized by the group at the Hotel Kentrikon in Athens.

19

Figure 4: House on Heyden Street in Athens, by Dimitri Pikionis.

Figure 4: House on Heyden Street in Athens, by Dimitri Pikionis.

Source: Author's picture.

  • 41 On Eldem's reinterpretation of the measurements of the constructive system of the wooden houses see (...)
  • 42 Concerning the revival of the traditional architecture in Greece see Luisa Ferro, In Grecia, archeo (...)
  • 43 The house is the result of a team work : Pikionis worked with the architect Mitsàkis and the painte (...)
  • 44 Expression borrowed from Paolo Girardelli, “Modernità della tradizione: Sedat Hakki Eldem (1908–198 (...)

20From 1932 Dimitri Pikionis chose to follow the constructive traditions that were most diffuse in Greece, especially those of the mountains in the region of Kastoria, as a reference point for his modern architecture. In a manner very similar to the compositional methods worked out by Eldem in his reinterpretation of folk heritage for modern purposes,41 Pikionis perceived a conceptual connection between buildings using a reinforced concrete frame and those using wooden projections instead, as in traditional architecture.42 The house43 on Heyden Street in Athens, constructed by Pikionis in 1937, is the happy result of these studies, and perfectly synthesizes the modernity of the tradition.44

21

Figure 5: Branislav Kojić's house in Belgrade.

Figure 5: Branislav Kojić's house in Belgrade.

Source: Author's picture.

  • 45 Branislav Kojić, a Serbian author read and studied by Eldem, belonged to a generation of French-edu (...)

22In the former Yugoslavia one can cite the work of Branislav Kojic (1899-1987),45 who was one of the Serbian founders of the modern architectural movement, and also one of the most meticulous researchers of the building traditions of the Balkans. An analysis of his personal home in Zadarska Street in Belgrade suggests that he was attempting to find the proper balance between modern and vernacular architectural elements. The dominant features of the main façade are two bay windows on the first floor and a projecting roof that follows the curved forms both of the building and of the site. The sculptural softness of the undulating wall is achieved through stylized bay windows borrowed from vernacular architecture.

  • 46 In 1940 Kojić led a survey and study of the traditional mansion of Avzi-pacha in Bardovce near Skop (...)

23Elements belonging to the ancient konaks, which made up the neighborhoods of Kosančićev Venac and Dorćol in Belgrade, are evoked in the modern sinuous lines of this house. “I am interested in history as a tool for the present and for the future, more than as a love for the past,” wrote Kojić.46

  • 47 On Paul Smărăndescu see URL: http://paul-smarandescu.blogspot.it/. Accessed 10 May 2017.
  • 48 Two letters from Romania have been found in the amplified collection of Eldem’s correspondence: one (...)
  • 49 The Romanian sacnasiu is an adaptation of the Turkish şahnişin based on the Arabic shanasheel and i (...)

24The work of Paul Smărăndescu (1881-1945),47 another correspondent of Eldem, is a Romanian equivalent, in which elements of the Ottoman heritage were again re-interpreted in a modern manner.48 Smărăndescu, a generation older than Eldem, had received a diploma in architecture from the French government and endeavored to define a neo-Romanian style through the reconfiguration of historical elements. An example is his own house constructed in 1914 on Lutheran Street in Bucharest, where he merged early nineteenth-century bow windows with a gazebo-like structure. This element becomes an innovative interpretation of the sacnasiu,49 present in local vernacular architecture, and quite frequently retrieved and reinterpreted.

Figure 6: Letter addressed to S. H. Eldem from Paul Smărăndescu,  24 March 1940.

Figure 6: Letter addressed to S. H. Eldem from Paul Smărăndescu,  24 March 1940.

Source: Istanbul (Turkey), Rahmi M. Koç Museum.

Figure 7: Foscari’s Villa by Andrea Palladio. Gambarare di Mira (Venice), circa 1554.

Figure 7: Foscari’s Villa by Andrea Palladio. Gambarare di Mira (Venice), circa 1554.

Source: Author's picture.

  • 50 Maurice Cerasi, “The Formation of Ottoman House Types, op. cit. (note 11), p. 129–130.

25To recap: one may say that in the “core-area”50 of the diffusion of the Ottoman house there came about, starting from the 1930s, a real paradox in what had been the nationalistic ideology of the movement of the Young Turks: the multiculturalism of Ottoman society so strongly oppressed during the passage from Empire to Republic, turned out to serve those very nations that emerged from the dismemberment of the Empire.

  • 51 The houses of Ohrid are a good example of how this building patrimony has been claimed by different (...)

26Thus, many of these nations during their search of a national identity looked toward the legacy of the Ottoman house to locate those typological or decorative elements needed for constructing the idea of the “national home”: the varied souls of the Ottoman Empire, and therefore its various vernacular traditions, remained linked (even unknowingly) to these cross-cultural influences, which, for centuries, had been allowed to co-exist. Over time, the heritage left by the “invaders” in the former territories of the Empire was assimilated into each new nations own cultural history,51 despite of the divisions that new territorial and ideological boundaries imposed.

27Thus, the legacy of the Ottoman house has been able to go beyond the boundaries of nationality and history.

Byzantine Influences and later contaminations with European building types

28In his main work on the Turkish house of the Ottoman period, Eldem also reflected on “Byzantine influence” and wondered what cross-cultural exchanges the Ottomans might have experienced before becoming Turks. According to Eldem, the claim that the Byzantine house tradition lived on and continued in the Turkish house cannot be confirmed, but he assumes that:

  • 52 Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi, op. cit. (note 28), p. 26.

At the time that the Crusaders came to Istanbul and were fascinated with its palaces there were many magnificent yalıs (coastal dwellings) in Venice, made in the Byzantine style. Four or five of them still remain, but there is not one to be seen in Istanbul. The architectural style of these yalıs in the form of semi-palaces was Byzantine. Were their plans and interior layouts also in this style? If we assume this to be so, then we would be learning something about the design of the mansions of that period. The type of plan with a central sofa (orta sofalı) has always been traditional in the Venetian yalı (waterside residence). Was the same plan applied in Istanbul? If such was the case, the Istanbul mansions (konaks) made in the Venetian style, rich with their facades coated in marble, were not constructed with the same strength and durability, as they have all crumbled and disappeared without a trace.52

29In another passage in the same text, he affirms that we can consider that the Byzantine house was made using the same red tiles as the Ottoman house, and that the walls would be made of himiş (a wooden framework filled with tiles or stones). He observes that the Turks, upon taking control of Byzantine territory, used the same resources and techniques used by their predecessors. The innovative elements were the plan and the main structures that were made to accord with the Turkish way of life, combined with a new outlook and ideas about construction.

30Eldem concluded his text on “Byzantine Influence” by arguing that there is no evidence of any recognizable Byzantine characteristics in the Ottoman-Turkish house, and only their origins can be compared.

  • 53 Sedad H. Eldem, Köçeoglu yalısı Bebek [Le yalı de Köçeoglu à Bebek], Istanbul: Bogaziçi yayını, 197 (...)

31Speaking of the similarity with certain European building types, Eldem also noted that, in the domestic architecture of the area around Venice, the sofa plan shows a similarity with the Ottoman-Turkish house.53

Figure 8: Hatice Sultan's yalı designed by Antoine Ignace Melling.

Figure 8: Hatice Sultan's yalı designed by Antoine Ignace Melling.

Source: Ignace Melling, Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople et des rives du Bosphore (d'après les dessins de Mr. Antoine Ignace Melling dessinateur et architecte de la Sultane Hadigé ...), Paris, 1809–1819.

  • 54 Maurice Cerasi, “Tipi, prestiti e convergenze nell'architettura del Mediterraneo Orientale. Process (...)
  • 55 The Riviera del Brenta is the area surrounding the Brenta river. Some of the most relevant mansions (...)
  • 56 Howard Burns, “Dialoghi mediterranei: Palladio e Sinanin Guido Beltramini and Howard Burns (eds), (...)
  • 57 See also Sergio Bettini, Venezia nascita di una città, Milan: Electa, 1988. Even in the town of Rov (...)
  • 58 In regards to the eclecticism of Mehmet II' reign and later the renewed artistic exchanges with Ren (...)
  • 59 Antoine Ignace Melling (1763–1831) was a painter, architect, and traveller who is counted among the (...)
  • 60 See Sedad H. Eldem, Bogazici yalıları, Rumeli yakası, op. cit. (note 21), p. 316–317.

32During the eighteenth century in Turkey, and particularly in Istanbul, the acceptance of models coming from other cultures became normal practice, and the exchanges and the influences of the West began to be important. The buildings with a sofa plan, in the collective imagination, were linked to the Venetian villas who shared their central hall and passing-through layout.54 Furthermore, Howard Burns asserts that Venice and Istanbul share many aspects: both are big cities on the sea and both succeeded Roman and Byzantine Empire settlements. Venice and Istanbul also had a similar historical suburban sprawl: the Brenta Riviera55 by Venice, and the Bosphorus landscape by Istanbul, both with their mansions indissolubly linked to nature and water. Burns has also written of probable contacts between Palladio and Sinan, and similarities in some of their great architecture.56 He also affirms that the question of the exchanges between these two would be mere speculation if not for the fact that Palladio's client and friend, Marcantonio Barbaro, was also Venice’s ambassador to Istanbul from 1568 to 1574. What can be hypothesized is that, if great works like the Redentore Church in Venice, or the Sokollu Mosque in Azpkapi, carry traces of a shared dialogue between East and West, it is also very likely that civil architecture,57 which derives from these well-known examples, may also have features borrowed from these influences.58 For this reason, it is important to remember that, as reported by Orhan Pamuk,59 Princess Hatice Sultan commissioned Melling to design a labyrinth for her palace in Ortaköy, on the Bosphorus, in the style of the Danish ambassador Baron Hübsch’s garden. This was part of a neoclassical villa that no longer exists, which showed a symmetrical plan layout strongly influenced from Palladian housing architecture.60

Figure 9: Danish ambassador Baron Hübsch’s yalı on the Bosphorus, Istanbul.

Figure 9: Danish ambassador Baron Hübsch’s yalı on the Bosphorus, Istanbul.

Source: Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses, Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Turkiye anit çevre turizm değerlerini koruma vakfı, 1984.

Figure 10: The konak of Tahir Bey a Peć, plan and elevations. View of the living room (divanhane).

Figure 10: The konak of Tahir Bey a Peć, plan and elevations. View of the living room (divanhane).

Source: Slobodan Nenadović, 1961. Interior drawing by Serena Acciai.

33According to Eldem the first square and round plans of Palladio’s villas were a valid example in which the central hall gives autonomy to the rooms, but this was not enough to reach the Turkish house's level of livability and comfort. In fact, Eldem asserted that the division of the Turkish house in two—better known as haremlik and selāmlik—was the main achievement of these buildings, and a great sign of modernity.

34Eldem considered that only the large Mediterranean homes, with their central patio encircled by open rooms, had a similar plan, but these buildings required quite an ample site.

35Furthermore, Eldem was skeptical of the interpretation that considered the Ottoman house to be directly related to the Byzantine house. In fact, he wrote:

  • 61 Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi, op. cit. (note 28), p. 25.

Some foreign writers mention the “Byzantine Influences” in the houses of the Balkans and Istanbul. In other words, they see the source of the Ottoman House in the Byzantine House. They go as far as to say that the Ottoman house is in fact the Byzantine House itself, or the continuation of it. This is truly a subject worth consideration. What reality are these assumptions based upon? To investigate this matter has become a necessity.61

  • 62 Aleksandar Deroko (1894–1988), one of the authors mentioned in Eldem's letters was professor of the (...)
  • 63 Gülru Necipoğlu, “Connectivity, Mobility, and Mediterranean ‘Portable Archaeology’: Pashas from the (...)

36In this case the Turkish architect did not consider much of the Balkan literature on the subject, which carried different, and more profound arguments in comparison to Eldem's reports.62 Analyzing Eldem's writings, one can say that the issue of Byzantine influence remains the most unresolved and contradictory in his work: this subject is still an open question because of its difficult documentation and interdisciplinary nature. What can be said is that recent studies (which go beyond ideological issues, which were quite strong during Eldem's time) are paving the way for interesting considerations concerning cultural connections and cross-cultural influences. In fact, Gülru Necipoğlu has shown how, through the actions of “some remarkable individuals who crossed fluid boundaries by virtue of their integration into the Ottoman polity, we see how this society, in its own distinctive way, restored some of the legacies of the Eastern Roman Empire”.63

Establishing parallels thanks to an international network of scholars

  • 64 Letter dated 15 August 1965 addressed to Mr. Şerif Hasan, Pakistan Embassy-Cultural Attaché, Şişli, (...)

37Over the years, Eldem developed epistolary relations with many specialists, and his letters show that he was establishing a network of correspondents from all over the world: from Pakistan64 to Serbia, and from Tunis to Leningrad, in order to investigate the range and breadth of the so-called Ottoman House. Exploring this international collection of correspondence can help us to understand how the architectural type of the Turkish house may have varied across countries and cultures.

38To conduct this study I have taken into consideration twenty-four letters dated between 1964 and 1972, addressed to eight correspondents.65 The letters are in English or French and, reading between the lines, it is evident that for Eldem these letters were an essential resource for his work both as an architect and as a teacher.

  • 66 The text mentioned in the letter is Alija Bejtić,Spomenici osmanlijske arhitekture u Bosni i Herc (...)
  • 67 Boris Čipan (1918-2012) was a Macedonian architect who was a prominent figure of Macedonian modern (...)

39A great number of the letters concern the territory encompassing the former Yugoslavia. One correspondent in the 1960s was the engineer Aleksandar Zaborski from Belgrade who, with great dedication, supplied Eldem with articles and publications on themes that he was searching for. In a letter to Zaborski dated 25 September 1965, Eldem writes: “I understand that there is a book on Sarajevo Houses written by Beydic66 (?). This would of course be of the upmost interest for me, my primary subject being surveys of Muslim houses in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Macedonia”. Again, on 2 December he asked his correspondent for a copy of the book of Boris Čipan about Ohrid houses.67

  • 68 Dr. Slobodan Nenadović was architect and Professor Emeritus, at the University of Belgrade.

40In another letter dated 22 February 1966, Zaborski wrote to Eldem noting that he had finally sent him Branislav Kojic's book, The Old Town and Village Architecture in Serbia, which appeared in Belgrade in 1949, adding that he “had the opportunity to get acquainted with a gentleman who is a docent-lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade”. From the successive letters one understands that this gentleman was Slobodan Nenadović.68 In fact, on 1 July Zaborski wrote:

  • 69 Letter dated 1 July 1966 addressed to Eldem by Zaborski.

Mr. Nenadović is expecting to receive from you similar separates of Turkish articles on Turkish town and village architecture (domestic architecture), for which he leaves to you the free choice. Mr. Nenadović is the professor of our National Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of the University in Beograd. He is ready to continue the exchange of literature from that field of science, and do the same that he is already doing with persons working on the history of architecture in Rumania, Bulgaria and USA.69

41The letters between Eldem and Zaborski was intense in those years, and regardless of the evident difficulty in communication—letters and packages had to cross many borders—it shows how Eldem was striving to gather information on examples of Ottoman architecture outside of his own country, and most particularly, in the Balkans.

  • 70 Four letters dated between 10 July 1968 and 14 October 1969. From the above-mentioned letters we le (...)
  • 71 See Nikolaos K. Moutsopoulos, La notion et les limites de l'architecture traditionnelle en Grèce, I (...)
  • 72 Dimitrios Zygomalas, Educating on Conservation: The Greek Experience in Preparing Specialists in Bu (...)

42Another group of letters concerns the correspondence between Eldem and Nikolaos Moutsopoulos (1927), one of the most important intellectuals engaged in the study of traditional Greek architecture, and professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.70 Moutsopoulos wrote several books concerning the origins of Greek vernacular architecture, underlining its connection with Byzantine tradition.71 As a professor, his major teaching focus was preparing specialists in heritage building preservation.72

  • 73 Specifically the publications sent by Eldem were: Türk evi plan tipleri [Turkish Houses Types], [2n (...)

43In the letter of 10 July 1968, Moutsopoulos reminds his colleague that he had sent him the Athenian magazine Architektoniki, and that he had completed a study and written a book on popular architecture in Kastoria. He asked for copies of Eldem's work on traditional houses in Turkey. In his reply of 5 August 1968, Eldem sent him copies of his publications, reaffirming his great interest in Moutsopoulos' research.73 He concludes by writing:

I hope that this will result in exchanges of ideas concerning the subject which seems to be dear to both of us”.

  • 74 Noël Duval, “Alexandre Lézine (1906-1972), Antiquités africaines, vol. 8, no. 1, 1974, p. 7-12. UR (...)
  • 75 Lucien Golvin, “Jacques Revault (1902-1986), Annuaire de l'Afrique du Nord, vol. 25, 1986, p. 611- (...)
  • 76 Alexandre Lézine, Trois palais d’époque ottomane au Caire, Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie o (...)

44Regarding the dissemination of the Ottoman housing type in North Africa, Eldem was in contact with the architect Alexandre Lézine (1906–1972),74 and, after Lézine's untimely death, with Jacques Revault (1902–1986).75 Lézine was the French architect most involved in the study of traditional and ancient architecture in Tunisia and Egypt. His working experience was plentiful and varied, and, like Eldem, he was not only a practitioner but interested in the theoretical aspects of his art. His studies and surveys, such as those on Carthage, Utica, Thuburbo Majus, Mahdia, Sousse, Rashid, are still a point of reference in the analysis of historical architecture in that geographic area.76

  • 77 Five letters dated between 21 October 1971 and 4 January 1972: during this period Revault was worki (...)
  • 78 Two of Revault's books are mentioned in these letters. See Jacques Revault, Palais et demeures de T (...)
  • 79 For the letters is clearly that Eldem studied the Tunisian house type thanks to the Revault's book (...)

45Revault was an artist trained in the fine, as well as applied arts, who devoted his life to researching the arts in Muslim culture. A group of letters shows an extremely collaborative understanding between Eldem and Revault.77 In these letters they speak about their respective books, and one can deduce that they had met.78 In a letter dated 4 January 1972, Revault thanks Eldem for the interesting suggestions given in a recent letter comparing some aspects of Tunisian and Turkish houses.79 Unfortunately, this correspondence is incomplete, and the two men’s precious exchange concerning Ottoman-Turkish influences on Tunisian art and architecture remains illegible.

46The main subject of Eldem’s letters are books. In fact, he was looking for books about domestic architecture in the lands of the former Ottoman Empire, and his correspondents helped him in this research, finding the latest publications in the countries in which they worked.

47Eldem's correspondents were highly qualified researchers and engaged intellectuals who worked on (among other things) vernacular architecture and the various forms and influences of the Ottoman House. The letters show that Eldem was working on the Turkish house outside Turkey through two different methods of study. On one hand, he was interested in the traditional architecture of countries that had experienced Ottoman domination, which he studied through the publications of other intellectuals and architects, such as Lézine, Moutsopoulos, Revault and Kojić; on the other, he was looking for what remained of specific examples of Ottoman architecture (especially houses and palaces) on foreign territory after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Beyond being a charismatic figure of modern architecture in Turkey, Sedad Hakkı Eldem was deeply interested in reconstructing the existence of those “fragments” of Ottoman architecture that he knew were scattered around the former Ottoman world.

  • 80 The letters I have taken into consideration are only a sample of the ample collection of correspond (...)
  • 81 Letter dated 2 December 1965. In regard to the Ohrid houses see Boris Čipan, Stara gradska arhitekt (...)
  • 82 Letter dated 5 November1970 addressed to Alexandre Lézine, in which Eldem asks for the Bijou Palace (...)
  • 83 Letter dated 15 July 1969 addressed to N.K. Moutsopoulos.
  • 84 Letter dated 15 July 1969 addressed to Dr. Y. A. Miller - Hermitage Museum, Leningrad.

48Indeed, from his letters it is clear that Eldem was already aware of the existence of these case studies: he asked his correspondents for specific information concerning these examples, such as floor plans, elevations, and every kind of detail that might be useful for his research. In the letters that I studied80 Eldem was seeking information about specific buildings and sites, such as:
- in the former Yugoslavia: the Residence of Tahir Bey in Peć; the house type of Prizren; the Ohrid houses81;
- in Egypt: the town of Rosette (present-day Rachid);
the Bijou Palace in Cairo82;
- in Greece: the village of Kastoria, the housing architecture of Ioannina and the island of Rhodes
83;
- in Crimea, Caucasus, central Asia :
Hansaray, Tartar’s Khan palace and Buckara Palace;
- in the former U.S.S.R.: the Turkish kiosk in
Tsarskoye Selo gardens in Saint Petersburg.84

  • 85 The different planimetric distribution of the sofa (or its absence) determines the fundamental type (...)
  • 86 Divanhane: receiving hall. See Serena Acciai, “Divanhane, the Receiving Room, Firenze Architettura(...)

49By means of these examples Sedad was able to grasp that the typological elements constitutive of the Turkish house—like the sofa—are elements common to a broader geographical area.85 He had the foresight to cross borders to be able to understand how a space like the divanhane was widespread throughout many different cultures.86

  • 87 Slobodan Nenadović, “Kuća u Prizrenu = La maison à Prizrenu,” Starine Kosova i Metohije Pokrajinski (...)
  • 88 Sedad H. Eldem, “Les yalis sur les rives du Bosphore, les maisons de plaisance de l’ancienne Turqui (...)

50Concerning the case study located in the former Yugoslavia, Eldem in a letter dated 2 December 1965, asked his correspondent from Belgrade for two specific articles: the first one was about the residence of Tahir Bey in Peć, characterized by the projecting roof, ribbon windows and a divanhane supported on pillars.87 This example was interesting for Eldem because in the 1960s the old konak was dismantled and reconstructed in another part of the city. The new urban plan for Peć in fact included the total demolition of the building, but the Institute for Conservation of Cultural Monuments in Kosovo, considering that the exceptional qualities of the monument were a part of the city’s ancient urban architecture, saved it, and moved it elsewhere. Knowing the work, research, and design projects of Sedad Eldem, we can with confidence affirm that the case-study of Peć was of utmost importance to him. Much Ottoman architecture, and in particular many yalıs and konaks on the Bosphorus and elsewhere, had suffered the fate that would befall the konak of Tahir Bey a Peć: this was a valid example of historical preservation of an ancient building both on a methodological level (the technology used in the dismantling/reconstruction) as well as a bureaucratic level. Eldem had, from the beginning, strongly denounced the ruination that was taking place, especially of wooden structures along the Bosphorus.88

Figure 11: The House Arab Killy, interior of the second floor.

Figure 11: The House Arab Killy, interior of the second floor.

Source: Cairo (Egypt), Institut français d'archéologie orientale (IFAO).

51The other case study in Balkan lands was the house type from Prizren (a historic city in southern Kosovo), which Eldem had studied in a paper by Slobodan Nenadović. According to the Serbian professor, the town of Prizren still had strong cultural peculiarities in the 1960's, in particular the city's house type. It was an ancient architecture, which had developed in every town belonging to the former Ottoman Empire. He also affirmed that this house type had ceased to be used in the Balkan regions after the fall of the Empire, and that the main character of these houses was to satisfy the architectural principles of function, construction, and aesthetics.

52Analogously, in his fascinating unpublished paper “La maison turque,” Eldem described the comfortable and livable character of the traditional Ottoman-Turkish home:

  • 89 See also Alija Bejtić, in his text Spomenici osmanlijske arhitekture u Bosni i Hercegovini [Monume (...)

“La maison turque est avant tout confortable. Pas d'espace perdus, pas de chambres inter-communicantes, pas de faux attiques. Pas de fausses échelles; tout est à la mesure humaine, même dans les palais”. 89

  • 90 The unpublished text “La maison turque,” op. cit. (note 1), is dated 26 September 1948. Eldem wrote (...)

53Eldem wrote these words in 1948 and, for the rest of his professional life, he continued to use the Turkish house type as his architectural reference.90 He felt that in its essence this house type had always contained features of functionality, beauty, and the need to live with a sense of well-being.

  • 91 The turning point of this trend was the Otterlo Conference of 1959. See Oscar Newman, CIAM '59 in O (...)
  • 92 The reference is clearly addressed to Bernard Rudofsky, Architecture without Architects : A Short I (...)

54It is important to underline that by this time the Modern Movement in general had changed direction. The architectural theory which considered the house “comme une machine à habiter” in the first half of the twentieth century was called into question in the second half of the century as being as somewhat cold, lacking in daily-life values, and not attuned enough to the human needs.91 From all over the world there was an increasing search for new “languages” in architecture derived from vernacular examples, thus the concept of “architecture without architects,” began to be taken into account.92Coming back to the case studies, Eldem was particularly interested in the houses of Rosette in Egypt, in research conducted by Alexandre Lézine in 1970. In a letter dated 15 November of that year, Eldem specifically hoped to receive some news about Lézine's work there. The historic town of Rashid (known in the West as “Rosette” after Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign in Egypt), lies close to one of the points where the River Nile meets the Mediterranean Sea. Rashid flourished under the Ottomans, who conquered Egypt in 1517, before Alexandria fell into decline. The Ottomans left behind a legacy of charming mansions that have some peculiar elements. Most are three-story buildings built in brick, reinforced with horizontal wood beams, and arranged in plans with the characteristic gender subdivision (selamlik for men and haremlik for women.) The selamlik, which is the middle and the representative part of the house, was placed on the first floor where the mashrabiya (lattice covered windows) facing on to the street were more open; the haremlik was instead placed on the second and third floors near the bedrooms, near the Turkish bath—the private, secluded section of the house—where the mashrabiya were closed. A remarkable element of some of these houses was an opening into the ceiling between the second and the third floor. This element is similar to the atrium of the ancient Etruscan house that provided light and ventilation to the interior.

  • 93 Alexandre Lézine, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ʿAbd Al-awāb, “Introdution à l’étude des maisons de Rosette [avec (...)
  • 94 Georges Marçais, L'architecture musulmane d'Occident. Tunisie, Algérie, Maroc, Espagne et Sicile, P (...)

55A careful reading of Lézine’s writing on the houses of Rashid shows that he shared many aims with Sedad Hakkı Eldem; in fact, the works of Eldem on the Ottoman-Turkish house are mentioned many times by Lézine. 93 Most scholars have considered the architectonical influences of Ottoman domination in North-Africa to be negligible.94 However, the study of the Rosette houses proves the opposite; that, in fact, many buildings in Rosette contain several elements typical of traditional Turkish domestic architecture. For instance, the arrangement of the plan, the presence of wooden beams between the brick levels, the use of wooden galleries and walk-in closets and niches, small marble fountains inside the rooms, as well as painted and inlaid ceilings.

Figure 12: The House Arab Killy, external view.

Figure 12: The House Arab Killy, external view.

Source: Author’s picture.

56In the part devoted to Egypt in Türk Evi, Eldem also considered the Citadel of Cairo. Using plans and the façade of the Ottoman Gevheriye Palace, he highlighted how this palace, built in the nineteenth century, was in the Empire style of Istanbul. In fact, the tall windows are reminiscent of this style, and the room resting on pillars within the harem is very similar to the room with the same use at the former Köuçeoglu yalı in Bebek, Istanbul.

  • 95 Nikolaos K. Moutsopoulos, Kastoria, Athens: Melissa Publishing House, 1990 (Greek Traditional Archi (...)
  • 96 “Caldirim”: from Ottoman Turkish قالدرم (kaldırım, “pavement, paving, paved road”).
  • 97 Sahnisin: or solarium: this characteristic according to the Greek author dates from the Byzantine e (...)

57Regarding the case-studies researched by Eldem in Greece, we find the important example of the work of Moutsopoulos on Kastoria.95 Differing from Eldem's idea of unconfirmed Byzantine influences on Ottoman architecture, Moutsopoulos described the city of Kastoria as a “ville byzantine fortifiée”. The streets of Kastoria, as in many other Macedonian cities are paved with “caldirim”96 and are quite narrow, becoming even more so with the multiplication of kiosks and solariums or sahnisins.97 Moutsopoulos completely denied the role of Ottoman-Turkish architecture in the evolution of the village of Kastoria. His main concern was to find Byzantine influences in its architecture, while historical occurrences, like the Ottoman domination, were not even contemplated in his research on the evolution of the town. The purpose of this Greek author—to examine the typological elements there—appears limited by his ideological approach to the topic. In the 1970s, nationalistic politics were acute and largely shared across the region. For Moutsopoulos, Kastoria resembled many Byzantine cities, with an additional vague Hellenic touch given by the eurhythmía (harmonious distribution of the various parts) of solid blocks and open spaces, and the equilibrium between plaster and stone, which created a peaceful atmosphere. According to Moutsopoulos it is thanks to sites such as Kastoria that the traditions, the arts, and the cultural heritage of Byzantine culture in Greece has been preserved up to today.

Figure 13: Views of Kastoria, plan and skyline.

Figure 13: Views of Kastoria, plan and skyline.

Source: Nikolaos K. Moutsopoulos, Kastoria, Athens: Melissa Publishing House, 1990 (Greek Traditional Architecture).

  • 98 See Nicole Kançal-Ferrari, Kırım’dan Kalan Miras: Hansaray, [Heritage of Crimea: Hansaray], Istanbu (...)
  • 99 In particular, letter dated 15 May 1964 and addressed to Mr. Eugueni Outkine who was chancellor and (...)
  • 100 Sedad H. Eldem, Sa'dabad, Istanbul: Kültür Bakanligi yayını 1977; Shirine Hamadeh, The City's Pleas (...)
  • 101 See Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Bahçeleri [Turkish Gardens], Istanbul: Kultur Bakanligi yayını, 1976.

58The Hansaray Tartar’s Khan palace was another of Eldem’s obsessions.98The Palace is located in the town of Bakhchysarai in Crimea. This extraordinary complex is one of the best known Muslim palaces found in Europe. It was built in the sixteenth century as residence of a successor of Crimean Khans. The walled enclosure contains a mosque, a harem, a cemetery, living quarters, and gardens. There was also a projecting room, or “Summer Arbor,” with low seats, row windows, and a marble fountain in the center. According to Eldem, this pavilion was rebuilt in the eighteenth century following the Baroque style of Istanbul. From his correspondence, we know that Eldem was in possession of some old plans of the palace drafted by British architects 150 years before, but he was looking for an actual survey to complete his study.99 Eldem, in the end, was able to draw a well-structured plan of the palace. We do not know if the plan that was published in his book Türk Evi is one of his famous “reconstructions,” as was the case happened with many other important buildings such as the Sa’dabad palace100 (in Kağıthane, Istanbul), or the Ottoman palace at the Citadel in Cairo, or if he found an actual blueprint. There is some analogy in effect between the Sa’dabad palace (also called “The abode of happiness”) and the Hansaray Tartar’s Khan palace. Both of them are magnificent complexes made up of many pavilions on the edge of a quiet river. Their relationship with nature, so essential for any Ottoman-Turkish settlement, is the crucial characteristic of these structures.101 As Eldem wrote:

  • 102 Sedad H. Eldem, “La maison turque,” unpublished text, op. cit. (note 1), p. 4.

Avec le souci du confort et du bien-être physique, le besoin de ne pas perdre contact avec la nature allait de pair. L’amour de la nature, du jardin donc, est inné en tout Turc, et sa maison doit absolument avoir un morceau de nature pour elle. Aussi l'habitation s’ouvre-t-elle de ce côté. Le jardin l’enserre de toutes parts, s’unit à elle dans ces vérandas clôturées, joyaux de toute maison qui se respecte, les salons-kiosques. L’eau des bassins dans les jardins trouve son chemin dans la maison en forme de fontaines cascadantes (selsebil) ou jaillissantes (fiskiye).102

59In the same letter Eldem asserted that “Les palais de Bahçesaray, Buchara, Baku sont des sujets d'étude de première importance pour moi.” In the Buckara palace there is an extraordinary example of a hayat, or covered gallery, called an “aivan” in Uzbekistan. Dodo Nazilov explains how in Central Asian architecture great emphasis was placed on maximizing the proximity of a chamber to the ambience of the courtyard, linking it compositionally with the surrounding landscape.103 In addressing this task, the aivan functioned as a connecting element between the rooms and the world outside. Aivan that opened into the courtyard seemed to introduce living nature inside, or, the other way around: it carried the space of a chamber outdoors. In the Bukhara Palace this architectonical scheme is recognizable in the sixteenth-century Bukhara Hoja Zayniddin Mosque, with its porch-like covered terrace supported by numerous columns in front of the entrance to the Mosque. It is probable that Eldem looked at this palace to study the application of the “covered gallery” in the layout of a monument.

Figure 14: The Hansaray Tartar’s Khan palace, plan and view of the “Summer Arbor”.

Figure 14: The Hansaray Tartar’s Khan palace, plan and view of the “Summer Arbor”.

Source: Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses, Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Turkiye anit çevre turizm değerlerini koruma vakfı, 1984.

  • 104 Nebahat Avcioglu, Turquerie and the Politics of Representation 17281876, Farhnam; Burlington, VT: (...)

60In another of his letters, dated 15 July 1969, and addressed to the director of the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad (present-day St-Petersburg), Eldem asked if the Turkish kiosks still existed in the gardens of the former Royal Palace in the surroundings of St-Petersburg. Such a kiosk did exist: the Turkish kiosk in Tsarskoye Selo, a town located twenty-four kilometers south of Saint Petersburg, visited regularly by members of the former Russian imperial family and nobility. It was Catherine I who started to develop the place as a royal country residence. Catherine’s palace is surrounded by a garden à la française, containing several elements ascribable to the Turqueries period, such as a kiosk and a Turkish bathhouse resembling a mosque with a dome and a minaret, built in 1852.104

Figure 15: The Turkish Kiosk Tsarskoe Selo, circa 1909.

Figure 15: The Turkish Kiosk Tsarskoe Selo, circa 1909.

Source: St. Petersburg's Imperial Era Postcards, The Environs Collection. URL: http://www.nevsky-prospekt.com/​postcards/​environs.html.

Conclusions

61This research had a double objective: on one hand it aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of Eldem’s network of correspondents in order to study the spread of a building type so essential in the construction of the domestic housing culture across East and West. Eldem’s intuitions, so far-sighted and yet so timely, broadened the concept of the Turkish-Ottoman house.

62By analyzing the buildings located throughout far-flung locations, one can grasp the transmission of the culture of lived space. The functionality of the house, the common areas, and the ways of life are so intimately bound together with human existence that people never renounced carrying this concept with them.

63Therefore, it is possible to affirm that, firstly, the concept of architectural “type” can be transient, re-inventing itself as a consequence of the cross-cultural exchange of peoples and places; and, second, that these historical buildings took on a number of distinct forms in different countries, adapting them to a variety of climatic, topographical, and cultural elements.

64In reading the papers of Eldem's correspondents, and by analyzing his case-studies, it is curious that throughout such a vast geographical area more or less the same terminology, with slight linguistic variations, is used: sofa, hayat, çardak, divanhane, şahnişin, taşlik, minsofa, and many other terms. These tell us of a type of house where well-being, the quality of the spaces, and the beauty that derives from them, are its most intrinsic characteristics.

65In this light, it is believed that a revision is needed regarding varied typologies and cultures that, in effect, have contributed to the construction of lived spaces, both in the Mediterranean and in the nearby Orient. In this respect, the studies of Sedad Eldem, just like an imaginary architectural portolano, could be the thread that connects this vast research.

  • 105 Studying Eldem's amplified collection of letters I learned that he was in contact with some prestig (...)

66The other aspect that this study has attempted to bring to the surface that which becomes evident in reading the letters of Sedad Eldem: that knowing his interlocutors, knowing what he studied, and what books were in his library, one is able to understand him not only as the spokesman for national Turkish architecture but also as a refined intellectual with vast interests that had ties with many prestigious institutions and famous architects all over the world.105

  • 106 Inedited writings of 8 June 1968 by Sedad Hakki Eldem, p. 1 transcribed from the original manuscrip (...)

67Eldem’s focus on the Turkish House was not limited to the search for a national identity; he was aiming at redefining the geographical boundaries of this building type, as well as the range of its possible variations. His main objective on this topic was to expand his knowledge on a theme which, as he wrote: “a continué à me hanter (that continues to haunt me)”.106

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Notes

1 Sedad Hakkı Eldem, “La maison turque,” unpublished text prepared for L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui in 1948, transcribed from the original typewritten by Serena Acciai and Chantal Paluszek. See also Serena Acciai, “La casa ottomana e il savoir vivre, introduzione a Sedad Hakkı Eldem, Firenze Architettura, no. 1, 2012, p. 94–101.

2 Marie de Launay, L’architecture ottomane, ouvrage autorisé par iradé impérial et publié sous le patronage de Son Excellence Edhem Pacha = Die Ottomanische Baukunst, Durch Kaiserliches Iradè Genehmigtes Werk; Herausgegeben Unter Dem Schutze Sr Excellenz Edhem Pacha, Constantinople: Imprimerie et Lithographie Centrales, 1873. URL: http://bibliotheque-numerique.inha.fr/viewer/21039/?offset=#page=5&viewer=picture. Accessed 15 September 2017.

3 Edhem Eldem, Un Ottoman en Orient: Osman Hamdi Bey en Irak, 18691871, Arles: Actes sud, 2010 (Sinbad. La bibliothèque turque).

4 Halil Edhem Eldem, Le palais de Topkapou (Vieux Sérail), Istanbul: Librairie Kanaat, 1931.

5 Halil Edhem Eldem, Nos mosquées de Stamboul [trans. Ernest Mamboury], Istanbul: Librairie Kanaat, 1934.

6 Sibel Bozdoğan, Suha Özakan and Engin Yenal, Sedad Eldem: Architect in Turkey, Singapour; New York, NY: Concept Media, 1987 (Architects in the Third World); Antonella Gallo, “Un architetto aristocratico,” Phalaris, vol. 16, 1991 p. 12–15; Uğur Tanylelli, Sedad Hakki Eldem, Istanbul: Boyut Yayın Grubu, 2001; Uğur Tanylelli, Mimarliğin Aktörleri, Türkiye 1900–2000, Istanbul: Garanti Galeri, 2007, p. 162–171; Edhem Edhem Eldem, Bülent Tanju and Uğur Tanylelli, Sedad Hakki Eldem 1: Genclik Yılları [Youthful years], Istanbul: Osmanlı Balkası Arşiv ve Araştı Merkesi, 2008; Bülent Tanju and Uğur Tanylelli, Sedad Hakkı Eldem 2. Retrospektif [Retrospective], Istanbul: Osmanlı Balkası Arşiv ve Araştı Merkesi, 2009.

7 Jelena Bogdanović, “On the Architecture of the Konaks in Serbia (1804–30s),” Serbian Studies: Journal of the North American Society for Serbian Studies, vol. 22, n° 2, 2007, p. 161–180. URL: http://www.serbianstudies.org/publications/pdf/SS_Vol%2021_2007_No%202-optimized.pdf. Accessed 13 September 2017.

8 See Luisa Ferro, In Grecia, archeologia, architettura, paesaggio, Cuneo: Araba Fenice, 2004 (Trebisonda), p. 83.

9 Eric J. Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, L'invenzione della tradizione [First published as The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1983 (Past and present publications)], Turin: G. Einaudi, 2002 (Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi).

10 Tülay Artan, “Questions of Ottoman Identity and Architectural History, in Dana Arnold, Elvan A. Ergut and Belgin T. Özkaya (eds.), Rethinking Architectural Historiography, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2006. p. 90.

11 Also Cerasi has expressed this concept. See Maurice Cerasi, La Città del Levante, civiltà urbana e architettura sotto gli Ottomani nei secoli XVIIIXIX, Milan: Jaka Book, 1988 (Di fronte e attraverso). p.185–186. For a more ample discussion on the regional differences of this building type see Maurice Cerasi, “The Formation of Ottoman House Types: A Comparative Study in Interaction with Neighboring Cultures,” Muqarnas, vol. 15, 2008, p. 116–156.

12 Esra Akcan, Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey, & the modern house, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012. p. 218.

13 Regarding the problematic relationship between Ottoman history and Turkish historiography, see Edhem Eldem, “Greece and the Greeks in Ottoman History and Turkish Historiography,” The Historical Review = La Revue historique, vol. 6, 2009, p. 27–40. URL: https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/index.php/historicalReview/article/view/4020. Accessed 13 September 2017.

14 Esra Akcan asserts that, in architecture, Turkish quickly became an all-encompassing category referring to the entirety of the residential buildings coming out of the Ottoman period, meaning that at the time the houses of minority groups such as Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Kurds and Alawites, were given a lower status. See Esra Akcan, Architecture in translation, op. cit. (note 12), p. 219. See also Carel Bertram, Imagining the Turkish house: collective visions of home, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2008.

15 See “The Evolution of Vernacular Architectural Tendencies in Turkey, a personal contribution and trials of Sedad H. Eldem,” unpublished typewritten published in a different version as “Toward a Local Idiom: A Summary History of Contemporary Architecture in Turkey,” in Renata Holod (ed.), Conservation as Cultural Survival, Philadelphia, PA: Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1980.

16 See Eldem's book 7, 1929–1930, sketchbooks in Esra Akcan, Architecture in translation, op. cit. (note 12), p. 124. Eldem wrote also that urban aesthetic derived from Camillo Sitte's theories, utilized over Ankara in the Cubic Style period, completely wiped out the ancient character of the town. See S. H. Eldem, “Toward a Local Idiom[…],” op. cit. (note 15), p. 90.

17 Sibel Bozdoğan, Modernism and Nation Building: Turkish Architectural Culture in the Early Republic, Seattle, WA; London: University of Washington Press, 2001, p. 255. See also Sibel Bozdoğan and Kasaba Resat, Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in Turkey, Seattle, WA; London: University of Washington press, 1997.

18 See Sedad H. Eldem, “Toward a Local Idiom […],” op. cit. (note 15), p. 90.

19 Sedad H. Eldem, “Millî Mimarî Meselesi [The Question of National Architecture], Arkitekt, no. 9–10, 1939 p. 220–223. URL: http://dergi.mo.org.tr/dergiler/2/104/1147.pdf. Accessed 13 September 2017.

20 Sibel Bozdoğan, Modernism and Nation Building, op. cit. (note 17), p. 260.

21 Ibid., p. 260–266. Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi Plan Tipleri [Turkish House plan], Istanbul: Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi Mimarlık Falkültesi yayını, no. 1, 1954 and no. 2, 1968; Sedad H. Eldem, Yapi [Construction], Istanbul: Devlet Güzel Sanatlar Akademisi, 1973 (Birsen Kitabevi Yayınları). Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses, Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Turkiye anit çevre turizm değerlerini koruma vakfı, 1984–1987, 3 vol. Sedad H. Eldem, Bogazici yalilari, Rumeli yakasi: Anadolu yakasi, [The yalis of the Bosphorus: European side and Anatolian side], Istanbul: Vehbi Koç Vakfı , 1993–1994.

22 Sedad H. Eldem, “Eski bir Türk evi [An ancient Turkish house],” Mimar, vol. 3, no. 39, March 1934, p. 80–81. URL: http://dergi.mo.org.tr/dergiler/2/13/53.pdf. Accessed 18 September 2017.

23 Eldem himself referred to this experience using the same wording. See Sedad H. Eldem, “Toward a Local Idiom […],” op. cit. (note 15), p. 91.

24 See Sibel Bozdoğan and Esra Akcan, Turkey: Modern Architectures in History, London: Reaktion Books, 2012 (Modern architectures in history), p. 98.

25 Tülay Artan, “Questions of Ottoman Identity and Architectural History, op. cit. (note 10), p. 86.

26 Sedad H. Eldem, “Elli Yıllık Cumhuriyet Mimarlığı [Fifty Yearly Republican Architecture],” Mimarlık, no. 121–122, nov. –dec. 1973, p. 5–11. URL: http://earsiv.sehir.edu.tr:8080/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11498/15554/001582364010.pdf?sequence=1. Accessed 18 September 2017.

27 Sibel Bozdoğan, “The Legacy of an Istanbul Architect: Type, Context and Urban Identity in the Work of Sedad Eldem,” in Jean-Francois Lejeune and Michelangelo Sabatino (eds.), Modern Architecture and the Mediterranean: Vernacular Dialogues and Contested Identities, proceedings of the conference “The other modern: On the influence of the vernacular on the architecture and the city of the Twentieth century” (Capri, Casa Malaparte, 8–15 March 1998), London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2010, p. 131–146.

28 Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi: Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses: Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Taç Vakfı yayını, 1984, vol. 1, p. 21.

29 For a more ample discussion on this topic see ABE Journal, no. 9–10, 2016, Dossier “Dynamic Vernacular”. URL: https://abe.revues.org/2944. Accessed 19 September 2017.

30 David Crowley, “National Modernisms, in Christopher Wilk (ed.), Modernism 19141939: Designing a New World, Exhibition catalogue [London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 6 april-23 July 2006], London: V&A Publications, 2006, p. 341–360. See also Sibel Bozdoğan and Esra Akcan, Turkey: Modern Architectures in History, op. cit. (note 24), p. 19.

31 These pictures are stored with other old photographs of New York (probably taken by Eldem during his trip to New York City for the Universal Exposition in 1939). This suggests that Eldem's, on his way back to Turkey from NYC, might have stopped in Rome and took some photographs of the EUR area—at that time recently built. The EUR or E42 area is an urban and architectural complex in Rome, designed in Fascist Italy in the 1930s in anticipation of a Universal Exposition never held. Tullio Gregory, Achille Tartaro, Maurizio Calvesi, Enrico Guidoni and Simonetta Lux (eds.), E 42, utopia e scenario del regime: Urbanistica, architettura, arte e decorazione, Exhibition catalogue [Rome; Archivio centrale dello stato, april-march 1987], Venice: Cataloghi Marsilio, 1987.

32 Giuseppe Pagano Pogatschnig (Parenzo, 1896Mauthausen,1945) was an Italian architect who was also the executive director of Casabella Magazine between 1931 and 1943. On the subject of the Triennale of Milan (1936) see Giuseppe Pagano and Guarniero Daniel, Architettura rurale italiana, Milano: Hoepli, 1936 (Quaderni della Triennale Milano).

33 Ibid.

34 Michelangelo Sabatino, L'orgoglio della modestia, Architettura moderna italiana e tradizione vernacolare, [First published as Pride in Modesty, Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011], Milano: FrancoAngeli Editore, 2013 (Collana di Architettura. Nuova Serie), p. 21.

35 Concerning the housing work of Pagano see Claudia Cagneschi, La costruzione razionale della casa, scritti e progetti di Giuseppe Pagano, PhD Dissertation, Alma Mater Studiorum, Bologna, 2009.

36 Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi, op. cit. (note 28), p. 26.

37 Alberto Ferlenga, Pikionis (18871968), Milan: Electa stampa, 1998.

38 Eleni Bastéa, “Dimitris Pikionis and Sedad Eldem: Parallel Reflections of Vernacular and National Architecture, in Keith Brown and Yannis Hamilakis (eds.), The Usable Past: Greek Metahistories, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2003, p. 147–169.

39 See Iaonna Theocharopoulou, “Nature and The People, The Vernacular and the Search for a True Greek Architecture,” in Jean-Francois Lejeune and Michelangelo Sabatino (eds.), Modern Architecture […], op. cit. (note 27), p. 111–129; Aris Konstantinidis, Τα παλιά Αθηναϊκά σπίτια [Old Athenian houses], Athens, 1947.

40 Omada Filon: group of intellectuals, including Pikionis, who wanted to create a new “language of the arts” through the study of sites and elements of traditional Greek culture. See Luisa Ferro, In Grecia, archeologia, architettura, paesaggio, op. cit. (note 8), p. 31.

41 On Eldem's reinterpretation of the measurements of the constructive system of the wooden houses see Engin Yenal, Profile of the Man, in Sibel Bozdoğan, Suha Özkan and Engin Yenal (eds.), Sedad Eldem: Architect in Turkey, op. cit. (note 6), p. 168.

42 Concerning the revival of the traditional architecture in Greece see Luisa Ferro, In Grecia, archeologia, architettura, paesaggio, op. cit. (note 8), p. 38–50. In 1936–1937 Pikionis led a group of his pupils in the survey and study of the traditional villages of West Macedonia such as Vèria, Kozàni, Siàtista, and Kastoria.

43 The house is the result of a team work : Pikionis worked with the architect Mitsàkis and the painter Hatsikyriakos-Ghikas, see Luisa Ferro, In Grecia, archeologia, architettura, paesaggio, op. cit. (note 8), p. 51.

44 Expression borrowed from Paolo Girardelli, “Modernità della tradizione: Sedat Hakki Eldem (1908–1988)”, Controspazio, no. 5, 1999, p. 31–33.

45 Branislav Kojić, a Serbian author read and studied by Eldem, belonged to a generation of French-educated architects. He was Professor at the Faculty of Architecture of Belgrade and a regular member of SASA (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts). See Ljiljana M. Abramović, Arhitektura rezidencija i vila Beograda 18302000 [Residential Architecture in Belgrade 18302000], Belgrade: Karić fondacija, 2002.

46 In 1940 Kojić led a survey and study of the traditional mansion of Avzi-pacha in Bardovce near Skopje with his students from the architectural faculty in Belgrade. See Branislav Kojić, “L’habitation seigneuriale d’Avzipacha à Bardovce près de Skoplje,” Zbornik zaštite spomenika kulture, no. 4–5, 1954, p. 223–242.

47 On Paul Smărăndescu see URL: http://paul-smarandescu.blogspot.it/. Accessed 10 May 2017.

48 Two letters from Romania have been found in the amplified collection of Eldem’s correspondence: one dated January 30, 1940 in which the Minister of National Propaganda certifies that Mr. Hakkı Eldem was making a professional journey to Romania, and one dated March 24, 1940, from Smărăndescu to Eldem in which the Romanian architect thanks Eldem for the magnificent album about Istanbul.

49 The Romanian sacnasiu is an adaptation of the Turkish şahnişin based on the Arabic shanasheel and is a traditional bow window, (seventeenth-nineteenth century) where low couches covered with silk carpets and cushions were comfortably welcoming special guests. See Marina Cionca, “Minor spaces, in Thomas Gronegger, Marina Cionca, Marius Marcu-Lapadat and Alin M. Olărescu, Inside, Outside, In-between. I/II Working with a village URL: http://www.ndu.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/Forschung/NDU_Inside-Outside-In-Between_2014.pdf, p. 178. Accessed 5 May 2017.

50 Maurice Cerasi, “The Formation of Ottoman House Types, op. cit. (note 11), p. 129–130.

51 The houses of Ohrid are a good example of how this building patrimony has been claimed by different nations. See Boris Čipan, “L’ancienne architecture d’immeuble à Ohrid,” Actes du xiie Congrès international d'études byzantines: Ochride 1016 septembre 1961, Beograd: Comité yougoslave d'études byzantines, 1963–1964, p. 151. URL: http://www.icomos.org/publications/thessalonique1973/thessalonique1973-17.pdf. Accessed 19 September 2017.

52 Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi, op. cit. (note 28), p. 26.

53 Sedad H. Eldem, Köçeoglu yalısı Bebek [Le yalı de Köçeoglu à Bebek], Istanbul: Bogaziçi yayını, 1977, p. 33.

54 Maurice Cerasi, “Tipi, prestiti e convergenze nell'architettura del Mediterraneo Orientale. Processi di differenziazione e di sintesi della casa ottomana tra Oriente e Occidente, in Alireza N. Eslami (ed.), Architetture e città del Mediterraneo tra Oriente Occidente, Genoa: De Ferrari, 2002 (Sestante: storie, memorie, documenti), p. 117–149.

55 The Riviera del Brenta is the area surrounding the Brenta river. Some of the most relevant mansions designed by Palladio are situated in this area. Detailed information about the components of the Veneto Villa can be found in Howard Burns, “Palladio's Designs for Villa Complexes and their Surroundings,” in Jean Guillaume (ed.), Architecture, jardin, paysage: l'environnement du château et de la villa aux XVIe et XVIe siècles. Actes du colloque tenu à Tours du 1er au 4 juin 1992, Paris: Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance, 1999 (De architectura. Colloques), p. 45–74.

56 Howard Burns, “Dialoghi mediterranei: Palladio e Sinanin Guido Beltramini and Howard Burns (eds), Palladio, Exhibition catalogue (Vicenza, Palazzo Barbarn da Porto, 20 September 2008-6 January 2009; London, Royal Academy of Arts, 31 January-13 april 2009), Venice: Marsilio, 2008, p. 236–243.

57 See also Sergio Bettini, Venezia nascita di una città, Milan: Electa, 1988. Even in the town of Rovereto in Trentino/South Tyrol (an area bordering Veneto region) there is an extraordinary house—better known as the “Turkish Woman’s Home (Casa della Turca)—that features a characteristic hayat, which is enclosed by finely inlaid wooden verandas. This house was probably part of an ancient Fondaco (store-house) now disappeared.

58 In regards to the eclecticism of Mehmet II' reign and later the renewed artistic exchanges with Renaissance Italy under Selim I and Suleyman I see Gülru Necipoğlu, “Visual Cosmopolitanism and Creative Translation: Artistic Conversations with Renaissance Italy in Mehmed II's Constantinople,” Muqarnas, no. 29, 2012, p. 1–81.

59 Antoine Ignace Melling (1763–1831) was a painter, architect, and traveller who is counted among the “Levantine Artists”. For the Ottoman princess he built also a small kiosk with a colonnaded classical facade that according to Ahmet Tanpinar, did not just expressed a Bosphorus identity but set the standard for the so-called “hybrid style”. See Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul, [First published as Istanbul hatiralar ve ş̧ehir, 2003], Turin: Einaudi, 2008, p. 64.

60 See Sedad H. Eldem, Bogazici yalıları, Rumeli yakası, op. cit. (note 21), p. 316–317.

61 Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi, op. cit. (note 28), p. 25.

62 Aleksandar Deroko (1894–1988), one of the authors mentioned in Eldem's letters was professor of the Belgrade University and member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He was an architect, artist, and author. He wrote an important essay on the Byzantine influences on Mount Athos housing architecture see: Aleksandar Deroko, “Deux genres d'architecture dans un monastère,” Revue des études byzantines, vol. 19, 1961, p. 382–389. URL: http://www.persee.fr/doc/rebyz_0766-5598_1961_num_19_1_1271. Accessed 17 September 2017.

63 Gülru Necipoğlu, “Connectivity, Mobility, and Mediterranean ‘Portable Archaeology’: Pashas from the Dalmatian Hinterland as Cultural Mediators,” in Alina Payne (ed.), Dalmatia and the Mediterranean: Portable Archeology and the Poetics of Influence, Leiden: Brill, 2014 (Mediterranean art histories, 1), p. 375.

64 Letter dated 15 August 1965 addressed to Mr. Şerif Hasan, Pakistan Embassy-Cultural Attaché, Şişli, Istanbul in which Eldem attached some examples of his constructed works where, as he wrote, he “was trying to give to modern architecture a vernacular character”.

65 This research was conducted at InVisu (http://invisu.inha.fr), Paris (France), on a short scientific mission (February 2014) provided by COST (Action IS0904) and later carried on thanks to the library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence (2016–2017). The letters are part of the Rahmi M. Koç Collection.

66 The text mentioned in the letter is Alija Bejtić,Spomenici osmanlijske arhitekture u Bosni i Hercegovini [Monuments of Ottoman architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina],” Prilozi za orijentalnu filologiju i istoriju jugoslovenskih naroda pod turskom vladavinom = Revue de philologie orientale et d'histoire des peuples yougoslaves sous la domination turque, no. 3-4, 1953, p. 229-297.

67 Boris Čipan (1918-2012) was a Macedonian architect who was a prominent figure of Macedonian modern architecture after the Second World War. See URL: http://architectuul.com/architect/boris-cipan. Accessed 6 May 2017.

68 Dr. Slobodan Nenadović was architect and Professor Emeritus, at the University of Belgrade.

69 Letter dated 1 July 1966 addressed to Eldem by Zaborski.

70 Four letters dated between 10 July 1968 and 14 October 1969. From the above-mentioned letters we learn that during the 1960s Moutsopoulos taught a course: “Laboratory of Architectural Morphology and Rhythmology” at the Faculty of Technology, Department of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece).

71 See Nikolaos K. Moutsopoulos, La notion et les limites de l'architecture traditionnelle en Grèce, ICOMOS International comittee on vernacular architecture, 2nd session, (Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 17-20 october 1979). URL: http://openarchive.icomos.org/1248/1/N_Moutsopoulos_architecture_traditionnelle_grece.pdf. Accessed 13 September 2017.

72 Dimitrios Zygomalas, Educating on Conservation: The Greek Experience in Preparing Specialists in Built Heritage Preservation and Enhancement. URL: http://www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/06059008062.pdf. Accessed 13 September 2017.

73 Specifically the publications sent by Eldem were: Türk evi plan tipleri [Turkish Houses Types], [2nd ed.], Istanbul: Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi Mimarlık Fakultesi Yayını, 1968; Rölöve.1. İstanbul Boğaziçi köyleri yerleşmesi; resmi ve kültürel taş binalar; İstanbul ve Anadolu evleri; çeşmeler ve selsebiller, Istanbul: Milli Egitim Basimevi, 1968; Rölöve.2. Birgi çakir ağa konaği, Devlet Güzel sanatlar Akademisi, 1977.

74 Noël Duval, “Alexandre Lézine (1906-1972), Antiquités africaines, vol. 8, no. 1, 1974, p. 7-12. URL: http://www.persee.fr/doc/antaf_0066-4871_1974_num_8_1_940. Accessed 14 September 2017.

75 Lucien Golvin, “Jacques Revault (1902-1986), Annuaire de l'Afrique du Nord, vol. 25, 1986, p. 611-612. URL: http://aan.mmsh.univ-aix.fr/Pdf/AAN-1986-25_06.pdf. Accessed 14 September 2017.

76 Alexandre Lézine, Trois palais d’époque ottomane au Caire, Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 1972 (Mémoires publiées par les membres de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale du Caire, 93); Alexandre Lézine, Deux villes d’Ifriqiya: Sousse, Tunis. Études d'archéologie, d'urbanisme, de démographie, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1971 (Bibliothèque d'études islamiques, 2); Alexandre Lézine, Les thermes d'Antonin à Carthage, Tunis: Société tunisienne de diffusion, 1969; Alexandre Lézine, Mahdíya, Tunis: Société tunisienne de diffusion, 1968; Alexandre Lézine, Architecture de l’Ifriqiya: recherches sur les monuments aghlabides, Paris: Klincksieck, 1966.

77 Five letters dated between 21 October 1971 and 4 January 1972: during this period Revault was working at the Directorate of Cultural Affairs and Technical Cooperation at the French Embassy in Tunis.

78 Two of Revault's books are mentioned in these letters. See Jacques Revault, Palais et demeures de Tunis. 1. XVIeXVIIe siècles., Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1967 (Centre de recherches sur l'Afrique méditerranéenne. Série archéologie). Jacques Revault, Palais et demeures de Tunis. 2. XVIIeXIXe siècles, Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1971 (Publications de l'Institut d'archéologie méditerranéenne). See also Jaques Revault, Palais et résidences d'été de la région de Tunis, XVIeXIXe siècles, Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1974 (Études d'antiquités africaines); Bernard Maury et Jacques Revault, Palais et maisons du Caire, Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1982–1983, 2 vol.

79 For the letters is clearly that Eldem studied the Tunisian house type thanks to the Revault's book on this topic.

80 The letters I have taken into consideration are only a sample of the ample collection of correspondence related to Sedad Hakki Eldem’s professional life.

81 Letter dated 2 December 1965. In regard to the Ohrid houses see Boris Čipan, Stara gradska arhitektura vo Ohrid, Skopje: Centralen zavod za zaštita na kulturno-istorijski spomenici na NR Makedonija, 1952.

82 Letter dated 5 November1970 addressed to Alexandre Lézine, in which Eldem asks for the Bijou Palace's blueprints.

83 Letter dated 15 July 1969 addressed to N.K. Moutsopoulos.

84 Letter dated 15 July 1969 addressed to Dr. Y. A. Miller - Hermitage Museum, Leningrad.

85 The different planimetric distribution of the sofa (or its absence) determines the fundamental types of the Ottoman house. Without the sofa (sofasız tip), is the most primitive typology where the function of the sofa was fulfilled by an open courtyard. With an exterior sofa (diş sofalı tip, or hayat), the sofa becomes an open gallery facing the outdoors. The interior sofa is called (iç sofalı tip), and finally, there is the typology of the centrally located interior sofa (orta sofali tip). Sedad H. Eldem, Türk evi plan tipleri [Turkish Houses Types], Istanbul: Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi Mimarlık Fakultesi Yayını, 1954, second ed. 1968. Esra Akcan, Turkey: Modern Architectures in History, op. cit. (note 24), p. 231.

86 Divanhane: receiving hall. See Serena Acciai, “Divanhane, the Receiving Room, Firenze Architettura, no. 2, 2016, p. 146–151.

87 Slobodan Nenadović, “Kuća u Prizrenu = La maison à Prizrenu,” Starine Kosova i Metohije Pokrajinski Zavod za Zaštitu Spomenika Kulture, 1961, p. 219–257; Miloslav Lukić, “Demontiranje, prenos i rekonstrukcija Tahir-Begovog konaka u Peći = Démontage, transport et reconstruction du konak de Tahir-Beg à Peć,” Starine Kosova i Metohije Pokrajinski Zavod za Zaštitu Spomenika Kulture, 1961, p. 311–329. The ancient konak is now the Ethnographic Museum of the city.

88 Sedad H. Eldem, “Les yalis sur les rives du Bosphore, les maisons de plaisance de l’ancienne Turquie,” Connaissance des arts, no. 312, 1978, p. 62–71. In 1977, Eldem was able to publish a beautiful volume describing and bearing the memory of the Köçeoglu yalı in Bebek, which had been demolished in 1941–42. He had witnessed the operation, described it: “C'était comme si la bâtisse renaissait une dernière fois avant de disparaitre à jamais Sedad H. Eldem, Köçeoglu yalısı Bebek, op. cit. (note 53), p. 24.

89 See also Alija Bejtić, in his text Spomenici osmanlijske arhitekture u Bosni i Hercegovini [Monuments of Ottoman architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina],” Monuments of Ottoman Architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina, op. cit. (note 66), p. 297, explained that: “L'architecture de la période turque dans ces régions est caractérisée par les lignes horizontales et la construction à l'échelle de l'homme c'est pourquoi tous les ouvrages s'adaptent harmonieusement à leur entourage”.

90 The unpublished text “La maison turque,” op. cit. (note 1), is dated 26 September 1948. Eldem wrote this important paper after the essential experience of the Seminars on the national architectural style.

91 The turning point of this trend was the Otterlo Conference of 1959. See Oscar Newman, CIAM '59 in Otterlo, Stuttgart: K. Krämer, 1961 (Documents of Modern Architecture, 1).

92 The reference is clearly addressed to Bernard Rudofsky, Architecture without Architects : A Short Introduction to Non-pedigreed Architecture, New York, NY : The Museum of Modern Art, 1965.

93 Alexandre Lézine, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ʿAbd Al-awāb, “Introdution à l’étude des maisons de Rosette [avec 21 planches]”, Annales Islamologiques no. 10, 1972, p. 149–205. URL : http://www.ifao.egnet.net/anisl/010/04/. Accessed 20 September 2017.

94 Georges Marçais, L'architecture musulmane d'Occident. Tunisie, Algérie, Maroc, Espagne et Sicile, Paris: Arts et métiers graphiques, 1955, p. 189.

95 Nikolaos K. Moutsopoulos, Kastoria, Athens: Melissa Publishing House, 1990 (Greek Traditional Architecture). See also Nikolaos K. Moutsopoulos, “Bref aperçu des agglomérations traditionnelles de la Grèce,” Storia della Città, no. 31–32, 1984, p. 11–32.

96 “Caldirim”: from Ottoman Turkish قالدرم (kaldırım, “pavement, paving, paved road”).

97 Sahnisin: or solarium: this characteristic according to the Greek author dates from the Byzantine era when the streets were narrow and the sahnisins were wooden and projecting on the street.

98 See Nicole Kançal-Ferrari, Kırım’dan Kalan Miras: Hansaray, [Heritage of Crimea: Hansaray], Istanbul: Klasik Paperback, 2005.

99 In particular, letter dated 15 May 1964 and addressed to Mr. Eugueni Outkine who was chancellor and interpreter of the USSR Consulate in Istanbul.

100 Sedad H. Eldem, Sa'dabad, Istanbul: Kültür Bakanligi yayını 1977; Shirine Hamadeh, The City's Pleasures: Istanbul in the Eighteenth Century, Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2007 (Publications on the Near East, University of Washington); Shirine Hamadeh, “Ottoman Expressions of Early Modernity and the ‘Inevitable’ Question of Westernization,” The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 63, no. 1, March 2004, p. 32–51.

101 See Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Bahçeleri [Turkish Gardens], Istanbul: Kultur Bakanligi yayını, 1976.

102 Sedad H. Eldem, “La maison turque,” unpublished text, op. cit. (note 1), p. 4.

103 Dodo Nazilov, “The Interior and Space Outside,” Sanat, no. 3–4, 2008. URL: http://sanat2013.orexca.com/eng/3-4-08/dodo_nazilov.shtml. Accessed 15 September 2017.

104 Nebahat Avcioglu, Turquerie and the Politics of Representation 17281876, Farhnam; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011, p. 175. The “Turqueries period” was the Orientalist fashion characterized by the imitation of Turkish art and culture, diffuse in Western Europe in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

105 Studying Eldem's amplified collection of letters I learned that he was in contact with some prestigious American Institutions, such as Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

106 Inedited writings of 8 June 1968 by Sedad Hakki Eldem, p. 1 transcribed from the original manuscript by Serena Acciai and Chantal Paluszek.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1: Photographs at the “Seminars on the national architectural style,” Konya notebooks.
Crédits Source: Istanbul (Turkey), Rahmi M. Koç Museum.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 488k
Titre Figure 2: Eldem's pictures of the EUR area in Rome around 1939.
Crédits Source: Istanbul (Turkey), Rahmi M. Koç Museum.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 340k
Titre Figure 3: The Halıcı Izzet House in Bursa, seventeenth century. Drawings by S. H. Eldem.
Crédits Source: Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses, Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Turkiye anit çevre turizm değerlerini koruma vakfı, 1984.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 400k
Titre Figure 4: House on Heyden Street in Athens, by Dimitri Pikionis.
Crédits Source: Author's picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 668k
Titre Figure 5: Branislav Kojić's house in Belgrade.
Crédits Source: Author's picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 852k
Titre Figure 6: Letter addressed to S. H. Eldem from Paul Smărăndescu,  24 March 1940.
Crédits Source: Istanbul (Turkey), Rahmi M. Koç Museum.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 732k
Titre Figure 7: Foscari’s Villa by Andrea Palladio. Gambarare di Mira (Venice), circa 1554.
Crédits Source: Author's picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 672k
Titre Figure 8: Hatice Sultan's yalı designed by Antoine Ignace Melling.
Crédits Source: Ignace Melling, Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople et des rives du Bosphore (d'après les dessins de Mr. Antoine Ignace Melling dessinateur et architecte de la Sultane Hadigé ...), Paris, 1809–1819.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 172k
Titre Figure 9: Danish ambassador Baron Hübsch’s yalı on the Bosphorus, Istanbul.
Crédits Source: Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses, Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Turkiye anit çevre turizm değerlerini koruma vakfı, 1984.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 564k
Titre Figure 10: The konak of Tahir Bey a Peć, plan and elevations. View of the living room (divanhane).
Crédits Source: Slobodan Nenadović, 1961. Interior drawing by Serena Acciai.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 252k
Titre Figure 11: The House Arab Killy, interior of the second floor.
Crédits Source: Cairo (Egypt), Institut français d'archéologie orientale (IFAO).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 428k
Titre Figure 12: The House Arab Killy, external view.
Crédits Source: Author’s picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titre Figure 13: Views of Kastoria, plan and skyline.
Crédits Source: Nikolaos K. Moutsopoulos, Kastoria, Athens: Melissa Publishing House, 1990 (Greek Traditional Architecture).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 384k
Titre Figure 14: The Hansaray Tartar’s Khan palace, plan and view of the “Summer Arbor”.
Crédits Source: Sedad H. Eldem, Türk Evi, Osmanli Dönemi = Turkish Houses, Ottoman Period, Istanbul: Turkiye anit çevre turizm değerlerini koruma vakfı, 1984.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 336k
Titre Figure 15: The Turkish Kiosk Tsarskoe Selo, circa 1909.
Crédits Source: St. Petersburg's Imperial Era Postcards, The Environs Collection. URL: http://www.nevsky-prospekt.com/​postcards/​environs.html.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3676/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 840k
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Référence électronique

Serena Acciai, « The Ottoman-Turkish House According to Architect Sedad Hakkı Eldem », ABE Journal [En ligne], 11 | 2017, mis en ligne le 03 octobre 2017, consulté le 15 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abe/3676

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Auteur

Serena Acciai

PhD Architect, University of Florence Italy

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Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
La revue ABE Journal est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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