Friday, April 20, 2018


Maçka, Beşiktaş - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'40.7"N 28°59'41.8"E / 41.044639, 28.994944


Maçka Armory was built between 1873 and 1875 by Sarkis Balyan on the order of Sultan Abdülaziz. The building initially functioned as a gendarmerie and later in the republican period became a school for transportation, artillery, fortification and military training.

The innovative actions taken to reform the political, military, economic and social structures of the Ottoman Empire during the Westernization period, as a struggle for imperial salvage through transformation, influenced new trends in architecture in the 19th century. Thus promoting the rise of a new military architectural style, the military buildings constructed in the Ottoman capital İstanbul stood out as symbols of the new era by means of novelty in size, typology and architectural features.

After the fall of the Empire and the establishment of new government, public buildings and monuments attributed to the previous period were transformed and re-used under the influence of the Modern Movement trend, as a new attitude toward nation-building in the mid-20th century. Hence, most of the military buildings of the Westernization period in Istanbul were renovated to be used as new public buildings by way of change in function, use of space and structure.

As being one of the 19th century military buildings constructed in Istanbul, the Maçka Armory has been a significant monument symbolizing the dominance of Westernization period in the Ottoman architecture. It is an important example of Neoclassical Architecture in İstanbul. The Maçka Artillery is a three-storey building and has been handed over to the Command of Gendarmerie at the end of Ottoman period.


In 1955 the armory was assigned to the service of the Ministery of Education. Used as a technical school for a while, the building became a part of İstanbul Technical University. Today, it is used as İstanbul Technical University Maçka Campus. After being handed over to the Istanbul Technical University, an educational new function was given to the building, and it underwent an extensive renewal application involving the alteration of the original plan scheme, spatial arrangement, construction technique and material.

Furthermore, nowadays, as a consequence of transition from national tendencies to newly emerging architectural trends and pressures arising from urban development, the meaning, current function and architectural capacity of the Maçka Armory as a campus building are being questioned and reevaluated. In this respect, this paper aims to identify the motives behind the adaptive re-use of 19th century military buildings in Istanbul as public buildings of the new nation and the ongoing transformation of these monuments under the influence of current trends.

ITU School of Foreign Languages (ITU SFL) has been in service since 1983. ITU SFL is located in a historical building in Maçka, Istanbul. ITU SFL offers intensive English Language Prep Programs, undergraduate pool lessons under Advanced English Program, and elective language courses such as German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese. ITU SFL has computer labs used as official TOEFL iBT Test Center, a rich library, a concert hall and a powerful body of instructors.


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