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Kozlu Kömür-İş Coal Mines Administration and Housing Complex

Zonguldak, Turkey
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Site Plan

Considered together with the Zonguldak M.K.İ. (Türk-İş) Workers' Housing built in 1934, these examples are the only Siedlung type social housing settlements with recreational and educational complexes built in Turkey. They have also reached their goal in serving generations of workmen's families since the 1930s.The Kömüris complex, located at the Kozlu coal mines in Zonguldak, near the western Black Sea coast of Turkey, includes houses for workers, foremen, engineers and the site director, communal recreational and activity centres including tennis courts, a marketplace and an administration building.

Buildings & Plan Scheme

The original Kozlu complex included a total of 85 houses, dormitories for the single/seasonal workers, an administration building, a primary school, an “economa” (co-op marketplace), a cinema and a tennis court on a sloping terrain. The individual buildings are located on this steeply inclined site in ascending parallel rows facing the sea-view. The workers’ houses all have gardens, and are located in a grid plan on the slope in a hierarchical order. The director’s lodge is situated on the topmost hill of the site, overlooking the landscape and the rest of the site. This house is followed by single engineers’ houses on the level below. As the landscape descends, the housing types continue as two-family houses for the officers and four-family houses for the workers, ending with six-family workers’ houses at the lowest level. The primary school which is also part of this complex was located in a suitable location to serve the children of the rest of the settlement of Kozlu town.

The buildings reflect the modernist architectural tendencies of the period and the architect in such elements as the flat roofed cubic masses and the round windows, and were designed and constructed in the simplest and most cost-effective manner possible.

Later Alterations

The individual houses have gone through a series of changes. The superstructure of the houses have been changed to gable roofs covered with tiles during construction. Additional small-scale annexes were built around the housing units, and the interiors were modified according to the needs of the users throughout the years. The layouts of the housing façades were also partially modified. The administration building and the director’s lodge have been torn down in the recent years. Although the original intended uses are still partially continued in the complex, the buildings are not well-maintained. The houses have structural problems and other problems arising from inappropriate changes. Also, due to high level of mining activities in the area, underground cavities caused some structural damage in several buildings.

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