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Festive architecture for the 15th anniversary of the Turkish Republic

  • Kind of Object:
    Temporary street architecture
  • Name:
    Festive architecture for the 15th anniversary of the Turkish Republic

    Word Count: 10

  • Creator (Person):
    Margarete Schütte-LihotzkyWilhelm Schütte
  • Year Start:
    10-1938
  • Year End:
    10-1938
  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Rıhtım Cd. No.1, Galata Köprüsü, Karaköy, Istanbul.

  • City:
    Istanbul (TR)
  • Introduction:

    One of the first commissions of the architects Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte, who emigrated to Istanbul in 1938, was a street architecture for the anniversary of the Turkish Republic.

    Word Count: 31

  • Content:

    One of the first commissions of the architects Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte, who emigrated to Istanbul in 1938, was a festive decoration for the 15th anniversary of the Turkish Republic on 29 October 1938: a temporary street architecture was to be built at the beginning of the Galata Bridge in Karaköy. The commission was arranged by the Berlin architect Bruno Taut, who was also in exile in Istanbul and who had brought the pair to work on the construction of the offices of the Ministry of Education. The design produced by Schütte-Lihotzky and Schütte makes reference to the Turkish modernism of Şevki Balmumcu’s exhibition hall in Ankara. Balmumcu's design, which combines an elongated horizontal structure with a vertically rising tower, was considered an architectural beacon for the dawn of Turkish modernism. The same formal language can be found in the sewage treatment plant at the Çubuk Dam near Ankara, which was built in 1935, and in Ankara's main railway station, built two years later.

    The architects were probably familiar with all three buildings, having visited Ankara in September 1938. At the same time, the two apparently received essential inspiration for the design from their stay of several years in the Soviet Union, where ephemeral permanent buildings were part of the repertoire of state-commissioned art. Propaganda was conveyed through quotations and inscriptions, and ephemeral buildings such as grandstands and kiosks were used as a means of media communication. Words and easily decipherable symbols conveyed political messages. Schütte and Schütte-Lihotzky were probably familiar with the buildings of agitprop, at least from tradition.

    The Karaköy street decoration, which has been preserved in numerous photographs and a colour drawing, is reminiscent of Russian festive architecture. The Roman numerals “XV” and the initials “TC”, which stand for Türkiye Cumhuriyeti [Turkish Republic], can be found on the tower and on the banners flying above the street. The crescent and star are symbols of Turkey. Schüttes combined the verticality of the street with the horizontality of the tower, which was visible from afar and on which illuminated written signs referred to the object of the festive act.
    The festive architecture was erected in the immediate vicinity of the state-owned Ziraat Bank at the end of the Galata Bridge in the Karaköy district. A photograph owned by the city planner Gustav Oelsner and taken by the Istanbul photo studio Sender shows a bird's eye view of the Galata Bridge, which connects historic Stanbul with the European-influenced districts of Beyoğlu and Galata. The Karaköy ferry terminal is also located there. The festival architecture designed by Schütte-Lihotzky and Schütte was thus located at a traffic junction and so visible to many Istanbul residents, even at night.

    Wilhelm Schütte’s photographs point to another aspect of the political staging of architecture: the use of electric light was intended to generate new sensory impressions. The term “architecture of the night”, coined only a short time earlier, in 1930, by the American architect Raymond Hood (Neumann 2006, 18), referred to the new possibilities of perception through the illumination of buildings. Since the late 19th century, effective lighting had already contributed to dramatic stagings of architecture at world exhibitions – the example of the radiant Eiffel Tower is particularly striking. In Turkey, “light architecture” (Oechslin 1988) was used as a contemporary means of staging and at the same time as a political sign: modernity and the founding of the republic, mechanisation and reformism can be read as a metatext in the festive architecture. The illuminated Roman numerals “XV” and the initials “TC” on the tower are particularly visible at night and from afar.

    A further ephemeral decoration executed by a German-speaking architect was Wilhelm Schütte’s November 1938 temporary architecture for Istanbul’s Taksim Square on the occasion of Atatürk’s funeral. This has survived in Schütte’s list of works (Schütte 1938/39).

    Word Count: 649

  • Signature Image:
    Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte, Festive decoration for the 15th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, beginning of Galata Bridge, Istanbul-Karaköy, 1938, photograph by day (ÖGFA, Archive Wilhelm Schütte).
  • Media:
    Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte, Festival Tower, festive decoration for the 15th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, beginning of Galata Bridge, Istanbul Karaköy, 29.10.1938, design drawing, coloured pencil and pencil on tracing paper, 38,5 x 41,5 cm (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Collection and Archive, Inv.No. 134/2. Reproduction: Robert Newald; © Luzie Lahtinen-Stransky).
    Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte, Festive decoration for the 15th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, beginning of Galata Bridge, Istanbul-Karaköy, 1938, photograph by day, Galata tower at the rear (ÖGFA, Archive Wilhelm Schütte).
    Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte, Festive decoration for the 15th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, beginning of Galata Bridge, Istanbul-Karaköy, 1938, photograph by night (ÖGFA, Archive Wilhelm Schütte).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Dogramaci, Burcu. Kulturtransfer und nationale Identität. Deutschsprachige Architekten, Stadtplaner und Bildhauer in der Türkei nach 1927. Gebr. Mann, 2008.

    Dogramaci, Burcu. Fotografieren und Forschen. Wissenschaftliche Expeditionen mit der Kamera im türkischen Exil nach 1933. Jonas, 2013.

    Dogramaci, Burcu. “Architekt, Lehrer, Autor: Wilhelm Schütte in der Türkei (1938–1946).” Wilhelm Schütte. Architekt. Frankfurt, Moskau, Istanbul, Wien, edited by ÖGFA – Österreichische Gesellschaft für Architektur, Ute Waditschatka, Park Books, 2019, pp. 48–63.

    Dogramaci, Burcu. “Intermezzo in Istanbul. Margarete Schütte-Lihotzkys Projekte im türkischen Exil.” Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. Architektur. Politik. Geschlecht. Neue Perspektiven auf Leben und Werk (Edition Angewandte), edited by Marcel Bois and Bernadette Reinhold, Birkhäuser, 2019, pp. 126–139.

    Neumann, Dietrich. “Leuchtende Bauten – Architekturen der Nacht.” Leuchtende Bauten – Architektur der Nacht, edited by Marion Ackermann, exh. cat. Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2006, pp. 16–29.

    Oechslin, Werner. “Licht. Ein Gestaltungsmittel zwischen Vernunft und Gefühl.” Daidalos, vol. 27, 1988, pp. 22–38.

    Schütte, Wilhelm. Bericht über die Tätigkeit von Architekt W. Schütte im Tatbikatbürosu. Archive Wilhelm Schütte (ÖGFA – Österreichische Gesellschaft für Architektur, Wien, September 1938–September 1939).

    Strigaljow, Anatoli. “Agitprop – die Kunst extremer politischer Situationen.” Berlin – Moskau 1900–1950, edited by Irina Antonowa and Jörn Merkert, exh. cat. Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 1995, pp. 111–117.

    Word Count: 192

  • Archives and Sources:

    ÖGFA – Österreichische Gesellschaft für Architektur, Vienna, Archive Wilhelm Schütte.

    University of Applied Arts Vienna, Collection and Archive, Estate Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky.

    Word Count: 23

  • Acknowledgements:

    My deepest thanks go to ÖGFA – Österreichische Gesellschaft für Architektur, Vienna, to University of Applied Arts Vienna, Collection and Archive and to Luzie Lahtinen-Stransky, who gave me permission to reproduce the works of Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte.

    Word Count: 41

  • Author:
    Burcu Dogramaci
  • Metropolis:
    Istanbul
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Burcu Dogramaci. "Festive architecture for the 15th anniversary of the Turkish Republic." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2949/object/5140-10990319, last modified: 18-09-2021.
  • Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte Apartment
    Residence

    The exiled architects Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte lived from 1938 in an apartment in Kabataş, on the European side of Istanbul. The flat has been preserved in numerous photographs, allowing the interior design to be reconstructed. The view of the Bosporus from the balcony was spectacular.

    Word Count: 48

    Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte on the balcony of their apartment, Cili Apartman House, Izzet Paşa Sokak No. 28, Kabataş, c. 1938, detail (ÖGFA, Archive Wilhelm Schütte).
    Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte on the balcony of their apartment, Cili Apartman House, Izzet Paşa Sokak No. 28, Kabataş, c. 1938 (ÖGFA, Archive Wilhelm Schütte).Anonymous. “‘Cili’ kira evi. Taksim. Mimar Zeki Sayâr.” Arkitekt, no. 1, 1936, p. 1: View from the street ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Anonymous. “‘Cili’ kira evi. Taksim. Mimar Zeki Sayâr.” Arkitekt, no. 1, 1936, p. 4: View from the street of the rear of the building, which overlooked the sea ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Anonymous. “‘Cili’ kira evi. Taksim. Mimar Zeki Sayâr.” Arkitekt, no. 1, 1936, p. 6 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Contemporary view of Cili Apartman House, Izzet Paşa Sokak No. 28, Kabataş, now Hacı Izzet Paşa Sokak No. 18, Beyoğlu (Photo: Thomas Flierl, 2019).Entrance to Cili Apartman House, Izzet Paşa Sokak No. 28, Kabataş, now Hacı Izzet Paşa Sokak No. 18, Beyoğlu (Photo: Thomas Flierl, 2019).Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte in their living room, 1939, photographer unknown, 11,2 x 8,7 cm (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Collection and Archive, Inv.Nr. F/151).Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and/or Wilhelm Schütte, Apartment in Istanbul, view from the balcony, c. 1939–1943, 7 x 7 cm (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Collection and Archive, Inv.Nr. F/152).Apartment in Istanbul, worktable, c. 1943, 6 x 6 cm (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Collection and Archive, Inv.Nr. F/142). Wilhelm Schütte's workplace with the typewriter on which he wrote his essays for the journal Arkitekt. The photograph may have been taken by Schütte.Apartment in Istanbul, dining area, c. 1943, 6 x 6 cm (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Collection and Archive, Inv.Nr. F/147). The three prints on the wall refer to trips taken by the architects to Japan and China in the 1930s.The photograph may have been taken by Wilhelm Schütte.Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte (standing, 2nd left) in front of the school in Karapürsek, September 1938, photographer unknown (ÖGFA, Archive Wilhelm Schütte). Soon after their arrival, the two architects visited village schools in the wider vicinity of Ankara and Istanbul.Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Dr Kemal Özsan House, 1939, 51 x 43 cm (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Collection and Archive, Inv.Nr. 137/2. Reproduction: Robert Newald; © Luzie Lahtinen-Stransky). The drawing shows floor plans and views of the facades. The house should have been built in Istanbul but was never realised.Wilhelm Schütte, Ankara Yenişehir Orta Okulu [Secondary School in Ankara Yenişehir), 1.5.1939 (ÖGFA, Archive Wilhelm Schütte).Wilhelm Schütte. “Th. Fischer ve Proporsiyonlar.” [Theodor Fischer and the proportions] Arkitekt, no. 9–10, 1940, p. 224 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Wilhelm Schütte. “Adolf Loos.” Translation Halet Çambel. Arkitekt, no. 1–2, 1941, p. 41 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Wilhelm Schütte. “Karl Friedrich Schinkel 1781–1841. Bugün bizlere ne ifade eder?.” [Karl Friedrich Schinkel 1781–1841. What does he tell us today?] Translation: Adnan Kolatan. Arkitekt, no. 5–6, 1943, p. 131 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Wilhelm Schütte. “Zelzele sahalarının yeniden imari hakkında düşünceler.” [Thoughts on reconstruction in earthquake zones] Arkitekt, no. 3–4, 1940, p. 75 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Wilhelm Schütte. “Zelzele sahalarının yeniden imari hakkında düşünceler.” [Thoughts on reconstruction in earthquake zones] Arkitekt, no. 3–4, 1940, p. 77 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).Wilhelm Schütte. “Yer Depremleri Hakkında Yeni Araştırmalar.” [New findings about earthquakes] Arkitekt, no. 9–10, 1943, p. 211 ([url]http://dergi.mo.org.tr).
    Istanbul
    Bruno Taut House
    Residence

    Architect Bruno Taut’s house in Ortaköy stands on a hillside with a panoramic view of the Bosporus, located at the point where Asia and Europe are closest to one another.

    Word Count: 32

    Yapı, No. 13, 1975, cover with Bruno Taut House at the Bosporus, photo: Bülent Özer (Private Archive).
    Bruno Taut House, Istanbul Ortaköy, Emin Vafi Korusu, 1937/38 (Junghanns 1983, ill. 331).Bruno Taut House, Istanbul Ortaköy, 1937/38, view from northwest, drawing by Tulay Gündüz und Mesut Işcan, 1967 (Yapı, No. 13, 1975).Erica Wittich-Taut, Bruno Taut (l.) and the architect Şinasi Lugal at Taut’s exhibition, opened up at the Academy of Fine Arts, Istanbul, June 1938 (Archive Manfred Speidel).
    Istanbul