RMB Workshop - Renewals and Interrelations for 1960s Co-operative Houses in Istanbul
30th October - 03rd November 2018, Istanbul, Turkey
DATE: 3/11/2018
After the RMB Workshop 2018 in Coimbra, now is the time to work in Istanbul.

In October 2018, the Re-use of Modernist Buildings (RMB) project, financed by ERASMUS PLUS, is going to
organize the 3rd RMB Workshop with the theme of “Renewals and Interrelations for 1960s Co-operative Houses
in Istanbul” at ITU School of Architecture, Taskisla.

Co-operatives have emerged in the 19th Century Europe as a reaction to unfair profit and inequalities created in
society due to the consequences imposed by the market economy. They are non-profit organizations with the
purpose of creating a properly functioning social and economic system. Co-operative mobilization, which, in the
welfare government approach, is brought about by the dominant capital’s accumulation processes, model of

The government encouraged the housing co-operatives and land share by the laws enacted in 1948, which
stimulated housing construction in Turkey. As a result, housing co-operatives have been established nationwide,
primarily in Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir from 1934 to 1956. Two models of housing production have become
prevalent. The first is the small-scale community housing co-operatives within a single unit, or under the same
roof, that will later be promoted by the property ownership law. The second comprises the housing groups
constructed upon lands zoned for residential occupancies by the 150-200-member housing co-operatives that
constitute a significant portion of the housing production in Turkey. In these, the foundation of the co-operative is defined by the terms of payment and partnerships usually based upon workplace mobilization. The characteristics of the residents constituted the basis for the cooperative society. These characteristics such as educational level, national origin, particular interests, the age distribution of the household, and family types determined the standards of the residential living environment.

Densification on small parcels has continued in the 1970s through “yap-sat” (i.e. small construction firm
initiatives) and the production of “gecekondu” (informal housing) triggered by the industrial development of
cities, primarily in Istanbul and Ankara. The system called "yap-sat", literally "build-sell" system, which brought
together the owner of a small piece of land, the contactor with a small bit of capital, and the client with a small
budget in a convenient and secure housing market" as described and named a magic formula. The increasing
demand for housing has also continued to be met by co-operatives created through small and medium-scale
capital accumulation, which can also be considered as small-scale mass housing productions.

“Petrol Sitesi / Petroleum Workers Housing Cooperative” and “IETT Sitesi / Istanbul Electric Tram Tunnel
Workers Mass Housing Blocks” that are examples of the workplace mobilization have been selected as the two
significant working cases for the workshop.

Docomomo International is one of the RMB project partners, together with the following High Education institutions, with complementary experiences and competences in the field of design methodology, practical adaptive reuse, refurbishment and improvement and policy-making on housing and urban development:

HS OWL, Detmold School for Architecture and Interior Architecture – Detmold, Germany (Coordinator);
ITU, Department of Architecture – Istanbul, Turkey;
ULisboa, Instituto Superior Técnico – Lisbon, Portugal;
Universidade de Coimbra, Faculty of Science and Technology - Coimbra, Portugal;
University of Antwerp, Faculty of Design Sciences – Antwerp, Belgium.

More details: PDF below