An alternative dwelling history narrative: The story of the ‘apartment’

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Dwelling is not solely a spatial organization in which specific activities take place, but also a place to ‘dwell’, which has different meanings for each occupant. Consequently, any attempt to explain the issues of dwelling through the prevailing discourse is limited. In this context, this paper proposes a ‘micro-narrative of dwelling history’ in which the spatial and social change of dwelling at the scale of neighbourhood and city, are explored via individual ‘apartments’ and the personal stories of their inhabitants. The case study in this paper addresses the residential area between Kızıltoprak-Bostancı in Istanbul, which is experiencing both a rapid urban transformation and the threat of losing its distinctive modern residential architecture from the period of 1950-1980, and focuses on one of its neighbourhoods-Erenköy. With the investigation of this transformation through an oral history method-based on interviews with inhabitants of the ‘apartments’-it is aimed to make a contribution at micro-scale to the understanding of the impact of urban transformations in the realm of dwelling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-107
Number of pages15
JournalA|Z ITU Journal of Faculty of Architecture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Faculty of Architecture. All Right Reserved.


  • Dwelling history
  • Micro-narrative
  • Microhistory
  • Residential buildings
  • Urban transformation


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