By Sara Caples, Everardo Jefferson
Read or Download The New Mix: Culturally Dynamic Architecture (Architectural Design September October 2005 Vol. 75, No. 2) PDF
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Additional info for The New Mix: Culturally Dynamic Architecture (Architectural Design September October 2005 Vol. 75, No. 2)
Curved overlapping walls, with the same muddy rich texture, emerge on the first floor. This ensemble of mud and sticks is held together by a pristine grey box, shaped by refined concrete formwork. The formwork leaves a trace on the centre’s walls – an abstract grid of 2 x 2 metres. In contrast, the mud walls have a deep sensual texture unmistakably created by hand – an endless field of merging handprints. Thus, the small building presents a dichotomy of architectural form: abstract-technological-modern-concrete against anthropomorphic-handmade-primitive-mud.
The community comprises long-standing family networks, some of whom migrated from distant parts of Anatolia and others who seem to have lived in Istanbul for generations. Kuzguncuk is a microcosmic glimpse of the cosmopolitan mosaic that Istanbul is supposed to have been. What is exceptional about Kuzguncuk is that the values of its social rootedness, its intact topography and the symbiosis between the two are recognised by many within The open-air children’s theatre at the top of Bereketli Street, on the doorstep of Gungor Dilmen, one of Turkey’s leading playwrights.
The gap between the two cultures is tremendous,’ says Gidon, age 34, a youth instructor and the director of the centre, while we tour the building together on a weekday afternoon. Back in Ethiopia, Gidon explains, life might have been modest, maybe even primitive, but everyone was in complete charge of his life, his land, his family. In Israel things are very different; mortgages, bureaucracy, no future without proper education – life is a lot more complicated. Of all the immigrant groups Israel has absorbed over the last hundred years, the Ethiopian community’s experience was perhaps the most difficult.
The New Mix: Culturally Dynamic Architecture (Architectural Design September October 2005 Vol. 75, No. 2) by Sara Caples, Everardo Jefferson