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By : Çılga Resuloğlu, Elvan Altan Ergut

This paper aims to examine the formation of Kavaklıdere as a ‘modern’ residential district during the 1950s. Contemporary urbanization brought about changes in various regions of Ankara, among which Kavaklıdere emerged as an important location with features that defined a new stage in the development of the identity of the capital city. The construction of houses in this district from the early 1950s onwards was in accordance with new functional requirements resulting from the needs of the contemporary socio-economic context, and exemplified the relationship between architectural approaches and social developments. In line with the rapid urbanization of Ankara throughout the 1950s, daily life in Kavaklıdere was transformed, as experienced in the apartment blocks that were the newly constructed sites of modernization. The contemporary transformation of Kavaklıdere was apparently formal and spatial, with the modernist architectural approach of the period, i.e. the so-called International Style, beginning to dominate in the shaping of its changing character. Nonetheless, the transformation was not only architectural but also social: the characteristics of this part of the city were then defined by structures like these apartment blocks, which brought modernist design features, together with modern ways of living, into wider public use and appreciation. The paper discusses how the identity of Kavaklıdere as a residential district was formed in the context of the mid-twentieth century, when these new residences emerged as pioneering modernist architectural housing, the product of social change, which housed and hence facilitated the ‘modern’ lifestyle of that time.
Keywords: Modernization, Urbanization, Transformation, Housing, 1950s.

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