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How Turkey Transitioned from Traditional to Contemporary Architecture

To insiders who know the country of Turkey well, the last twenty years has seen a slow, gradual shift in social trends. With the GDP growing every year, people’s lifestyles, tastes, wants and needs have changed dramatically from that of their ancestors. The emphasis now is more on comfort, enjoyment and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

One industry that is partly responsible and partly benefits from the social changes is the real estate market. These days Turkish property buyers are changing the habits of their parents and grandparents when it comes to finding a home from home.

Villa in Bodrum


Turkish Housing Trends of the Past

Practicality, needs and money drove the real estate market of old Turkey. Mortgages were non-existent. Hence it was not usual for three or more generations to live in the same house, even if they had to share bedrooms. People that relied on domestic livestock for either personal consumption or a source of income also portioned off large parts of their land for their care and wellbeing.

The geographical landscape influenced architectural trends as well. In the Kackar mountains of the northeast, locals built houses on stilts to protect themselves from wild animals such as bears that come down the mountain in winter looking for food. While in the southeast, people traditionally slept on their roof terraces to alleviate the hot, sweltering temperatures and blue colours on frames and doors was used to keep away scorpions.

Then came the 21st century, and a stagnant outdated housing market got a much-needed boost of modernisation. The Turkish government introduced mortgages and this, in turn, revolutionised the architectural circles of Turkey.

Suddenly there were no boundaries. The sky was the limit when it came to designing houses, rooms, and gardens that made people go wow. The architectural shift in the Turkish real estate market was real and got many people on the bandwagon, eager to own their own modern home. Contemporary architecture had arrived.

Not to be confused with modern architecture, rules or current trends do not bind contemporary design. It is a timeless, unique concept that perfectly suits people looking to stray away from conformity to an unconventional lifestyle. Quite a few properties on the Turkish real estate market display it perfectly.


The Ultra Contemporary Hebil Koy Villas

Marketed at the higher end of the real estate market, the award-winning Hebil Koy villas have graced the pages of many home and architecture magazines as the perfect masterpiece. Situated in Turkbuku, one of the country’s most prestigious holiday resorts on the Aegean coast, the architects who designed this project historically have an interest in contemporary architecture, creating not only homes but also museums and residential projects.

Their inspiration was the complex forces of nature, and they have combined them all into this perfect home. One reason it captures the eye is the contemporary architecture is evident in every area including the exterior and common interior areas. The fluid layout, large windows and the way it nestles perfectly into the landscape makes it a home with mass potential for décor and design.

Five bathrooms and five bathrooms are included in the mass living space of 700 square metres, and a terrace, as well as immaculately landscaped gardens, give an extra 800 square metres. While this may be too much for today’s young, trendy business people who are delaying marriage and family, it would ideally suit a family who can afford the best.

Hebil Koy villas


Contemporary Villas in Yalikavak

Just slightly further along the coastline, another contemporary Bodrum villa project captures the eye of potential buyers who do not have the millionaire budget that the Hebil Koy villas demand.

With a lower price bracket and less room to play with, the outside areas of these villas blend perfectly into the interior via the use of panoramic dining areas as well as glass doors in the living room that open to the landscaped gardens.

The subtle blend of combing indoor and outdoor spaces perfectly suits the summer lifestyle of the Bodrum peninsula, when alfresco dining becomes the norm. For those that do want to tap into the unconventional aspect of contemporary living, concierge services are at hand, and Yalikavak marina which is a playground for the wealthy and influential yacht owners of the world is within a short distance.

Yalikavak villa


Exterior Contemporary Architecture in Istanbul

Going further down the price bracket of the Turkish real estate market, one contemporary project that is capturing attention in Istanbul is these affordable apartments in the Beylikduzu area. The fluid, exterior appearance of the buildings is vastly different from other projects in the region.

With a stunning design, the view from every angle is entirely different, hence the originality of the buildings. While the exterior offers something unique, the interior uses traditional architecture making them perfect for buyers who do not want to stray too far from the classic layout of apartment living.

As with many other projects in Istanbul, the buildings also heavily incorporate communal facilities such as fitness rooms, swimming pools and landscaped gardens. The low price that appeals to single people as well as first time buyers is reflective of how the architects of Turkey are changing the mainstream real estate market to a contemporary showpiece.

Istanbul apartment


You may also like to read this article about the changing architecture of the Bodrum peninsula. Transitioning from the traditional stone whitewashed houses, the region is now a unique hub of architectural masterpieces, design and originality.


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