Architect’s Journey/Lycia

ODTÜ Mimarlık Tarihi programı kapsamında Prof. Dr. Belgin Turan Özkaya ve Assoc. Prof. Dr. Haluk Zelef tarafından verilen “AH547 Theories of History II” dersinin final ürünü olarak ortaya konulan “Architect’s Journey: Lycia” sergisinin açılışı 19 Haziran 2017 yarın, saat 15.00’da ODTÜ Arkeoloji Müzesi’nde gerçekleşecektir. Sergi ile ilgili detaylı bilgiye orijinal İngilizce metinden ulaşabilirsiniz.


The course Architect’s Journey focused on the emergence, establishment and representation of ‘travel’ in relation to architecture. Our aim was twofold, not only to read and discuss the related literature but also observe, record and exhibit the experiences we would have on a journey, which was selected as Lycia this year. During the semester we have approached travel and architecture from diverse angles: as  part of the formation of an architect (Sedad Hakkı Eldem, Le Corbusier), construction of a building or planning of a city by emigree architects (Ernst May, Erica Mann), architectural historians’ travels and preparation of guides (Nikolaus Pevsner), architectural theoreticians inspired by different contexts (Robert Venturi). We started by conceptualizing travel as an art; acquainted ourselves with different types of mobilities, actual and imaginary journeys; read about nomads and migrants, locals and foreigners, grand tourists and architects; leafed through guidebooks, looked at stereographs; learned about travel replacements, travelling buildings, exhibitions, panoramas, travel albums, armchair travellers. In our first assignment we pondered on how various architects, artists and writers experienced Ankara and turned their impressions and recordings into ‘travelogues.’ Before our journey to the Teke peninsula in the southwestern Anatolia, we started reading not only about Lycia but also the previous travellers to Lycia, the indigenous Anatolian civilization that gave its name to the region. We learned about the rugged sites, unique customs, architectures and spaces of this ancient ‘land of light;’ its stubborn fighters who resisted invaders at the expense of their lives, powerful women whose names were given to children; myriad tombs carved in rocks, stacked as sarcophagi, turned into pillars that replicated houses, grain barns, and beehives. We travelled there and saw many a thing: the ‘yellow’ waters of the winding Eşen stream, the Xanthos route going through the theater of Letoon, the nearby temples of Leto and those of her children Artemis and Apollo, the lighthouse in Patara. We held a debate at the theater in Antiphellos; descended into a cistern in the central square of Kaş; climbed to Phellos, sailed to Simena. We heard prayers in St Nicholas; smelled berries in Myra; walked among crop fields in Hoyran; traced the long gone harbor in Andriake. Lycia is a feast of nature and culture, not only ancient but also current, with its nature, vernacular architecture, nomad culture, it is a living, changing landscape.


We experienced the natural, cultural palimpsestic landscape of Lycia as part of our architectural Bildung like many architects from John Soane, to Jorn Utzon, from Sedad Hakkı Eldem to Le Corbusier did in other sites and landscapes in the past. Ours was not an archaeological expedition or cultural tourism but an Architect’s Journey. This exhibition is the product of an Architect’s Journey to Lycia. Our impressions and experiences in the region were processed in different ways and transformed into different displays. Like our initial impressions and perceptions that were singular the final products, the displays are heteronegous. There is not a unique narrative that combines the displays in a systematic manner, as the modern museum would have. The displays in our exhibition stand side by side, distinct and diverse like objects in a cabinet of curiosity.