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Rize Architecture


Architecture Meets Intelligence in Black Sea Region!


Northern part of Turkey lying through the sea is called the Black Sea (Karadeniz) Region. This is the greenest region of Turkey, with a characteristic nature, architecture and daily life. The mountains are situated parallel to the shore, which affects the whole life of the people here, as well as the climate, agriculture, city planning and transportation.  

The local people of Black Sea Region are famous for their stunning ability of solving problems. Especially, when there is a structural difficulty, because of the tough geographical conditions, people find really interesting solutions and they even build their own houses. Most of the interesting examples of Black Sea architecture are born in the city called Rize. Here are some examples of the functional design ideas:


Separating Heritage House: Two brothers from Rize could not agree on the heritage house after their father’s death; so they just decided to divide the 120 sq meter house into two. One of the brothers demolished his part of old house, and built a 3-storey building. The other half of the old house is still being used as a woodshed by the other inheritor.


8 Storey Staircase for Reaching Entrance: In Rize, an 8-storey building was constructed on the slope, but since there was no access to the ground floor of the building, an 8-storey staircase (without an elevator!) is added to the building. The sentences sound like a rigmarole, but the photo is not montage.


Wooden Bridge Since 29 Years: In Artvin, a retired man built himself a bridge on the river, in order to easily reach his house from the main road. When first built, it was a pedestrian bridge only. Then he renovated his bridge on 1995, and designed it for 3.5 tones car pass as well. He also added a barricade for controlled-pass and hold out electricity cables from his house to illuminate the bridge.


Bridge Between Buildings: The residents of the two buildings in Rize have found an interesting solution to fire danger. They decided that in case of fire in one of the buildings, the residents would pass to the other building from the bridge on the 7th floor. Thus, if a fire breaks out in one of the lower floors, they would run up to the top floors and get out from the next building. Residents are proud of their design, saying “Thanks God, we never used it yet and hopefully we won’t…”



Mosque on the Road: In one of the villages in Rize, the villagers could not agree where to build their new mosque. In order to build it close to every house, they constructed on the main road, in the middle of the village. The construction lasted for 8 years and when it was finished, a 5 meters high, 3 meters wide passage came up for the cars.

 

Set down / Set up Minaret: The unique idea is from Rize again. A minaret was built by adding 7 metal barrels to each other. In winter it is set down to be protected from snow-slide, and in summer it is erected again.


Another minaret was designed by a touristic facility owner. He built the minaret using a utility pole near the wooden mosque, and a couple of car tires.

 


All Keys Open This Lock: An inventor from Black Sea Region invented a lock that can be opened by all the keys. He said: “The thieves can open all the locks anyway. But if you lose your keys, you can’t get in your own house. This lock seems so strong that nobody would try to open it, but only the flat owner will know that any key can unlock it.”




Elevator to Mosque: An elevator was added to a 3-storey building’s facade, to help the old people climb up to the mosque on the top floor. 



Not a Labyrinth, but a Crosswalk: The longest crosswalk of Turkey was built in Rize. It is 500 meter long with its all connections, and the pedestrians say it eases their life. The only thing they need is the traffic signs, not to take the wrong exit.




Master Thesis on Rize Architecture: Architecture in Rize was also became a subject to a master thesis in Italy. Özden Kaya, a master student of Politecnico Di Milano wrote her master thesis on “Unusual Paysage Designs”. The important part of her study focused on 80 years old Bilal Atasoy’s designs. Atasoy hang his house on the slope of a rock by steel cables. Atasoy built his one-room house on the rock 8 years ago. But when he needed more space, he added 3 more rooms to his design. The house is now a 15 meter cantilever on the rock. 


Speaking of cantilevers, Atasoy has probably never seen any image of the “Balancing Barn” by MVRDV, or did he?


And finally, I wouldn’t dare to say a word about Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, but I just keep looking the two pictures below:


“Serender” will be another article’s subject.  

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