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General view of Phase II at the time of its completion.jpg
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depicted item: General view of Phase II at the time of its completionsource: DOCOMOMO International Documentation Fiche for Ataköy Housing Estate, Phases I-II

Ataköy was an attempt to create a new satellite town at the former outskirts of the city. However, it was closely connected to the city centre with a shore drive, the E-5 European motorway and a suburban railway line. The first two phases of the settlement were constructed on a marshland, and thus included real estate development as well. Today, this area remains to be the lowest density settlement zone in İstanbul. The complex of the Phases I and II includes a primary school and two neighbourhood market zones in addition to 662 residential units in 52 apartment buildings, 3-13 storeys high in Phase I and 852 residential units in 38 apartment buildings, 2-12 storeys high in Phase II, ranging from 93 to 248 squaremeters.

The buildings were set in greenery with especially designed social, cultural, educational and commercial spaces, free plans accommodated a spacious, even luxurious life-style, large windows illuminated comfortable spaces and all comfort systems from natural ventilation to elevators and central heating had been architecturally designed and inserted, and the wet spaces were planned suitably for the installation of refrigerators and washing machines, rare commodities even for the elite in those years. The apartment buildings ranging from 2-13 storeys in height and the residential units 93-248 squaremeters in size, were all constructed following the visual architectural vocabulary of the late modernism: the buildings raised on pilotis with flat roofs where elevator towers, chimneys, light shafts and concrete pergolas were visible, full-height "French" windows opened onto balconies, simple cubist façade arrangements introduced bold colored patches inserted in light pastels, and "form (generally) followed function". Climatic control was intentionally made a part of architectural design as well: All living quarters were oriented towards the south, no buildings cast shadow on each other, natural ventilation was enhanced both outside and inside.

However, the apartments were almost unnecessarily large, some even including separate service quarters and were fitted with elements and finished with claddings luxurious for that decade. In spite of the credit and mortgage based sales plan, the prices were generally high and the prospective owners were mostly higher government employees and members of the upper middle class, thus creating a utopic neighbourhood and social structure without any class difference, which certainly did not follow the socialist ideals of modernism. After 40 years, the social structure still reflects a concentration of the upper middle class members, and the land rents and real estate values are still in the rise.

Significant alterations with dates:The interiors of the privately owned apartments and in some cases the exteriors of the apartment buildings are being changed freely. Original fittings are removed as dictated by the comfort requirements of the present: Open and semi-open balconies are begin enclosed, the original colors of the buildings are being changed in most cases, disturbing the unity of design, deformed aluminium windows frames are being replaced with PVC and the white painted wooden frame apartment doors with steel ones. Inside partition walls are added to gain extra rooms, kitchen and bathroom fittings have been removed and replaced with new ones and original ceramic tile surfaces are re-clad, linoleum sheets in the bed-rooms are replaced with carpeting and the building circulation spaces of artificial stone mosaic with marble. Smaller elements with modernist characteristics such as door handles, post-boxes, ash-trays, light fixtures, balustrades, etc. are being rapidly replaced by contemporary elements.


Although later in date and despite a number of alterations, this is perhaps the best preserved and most characteristic late modern settlement in Turkey. It is important to create public and user awareness for the safeguarding of its unity of style and design.

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