Architecture as an urban and social sign : understanding the nature of urban transformation in Eskişehir highway, Ankara

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009

Thesis Language: English

Student: Ornela Bonjaku Gökdemir



The buildings of a city such as shopping malls, plazas, world trade centers, hotels or even residential complexes are not only alternative urban building typologies but they represent power in social, economical, political and even religious terms. In this sense buildings should not be seen as specific design and research areas limited with single building scale but rather should be seen as urban statements in city scale. However the eclectic existence of these buildings in urban fabric causes a series of unexpected transformations in a larger scale. The impact of a building in urban scale takes a very important place in the modern city – their architectural expression is not limited with their individual scale but rather it becomes an integrated part of the whole city which is open to transform function, infrastructure, architectural meaning, image ability and other social problems. This building behaves as a cultural and social symbol and it is inevitable to consider the design process as an urban experience. However many of the contemporary examples are designed as individual architectural buildings… The integration of Turkey, but especially the city of Ankara to the global economic network providing new cultural identities presents a transformation of the city which natures could be seen “in terms of rent theory” and makes this city “a place of competition for profit.” To better present these transformations one of the most important regions Eskişehir Highway will be analyzed for the power it reflects as the buildings are set on the two sides of the highway as a new type of urban architecture proceeding spontaneously and reconfiguring boundaries based on the limits of the capital. The limits economic power decides about social, economic and physical order of places shapes the city as an urban product to be sold.