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taurus mountains
sources of inspiration
roof tops
Turkish Grand Designs
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Turkish Grand Designs

Inspiration is everything when it comes to design. Without inspiration, the streets would probably only consist of three sorts of apartment – at least in Antalya. These designs would include the flat topped flat, the pointed roof flat and the flat with a combination of flat and pointy roofs. Whilst these three designs still probably account for 90% of what I see in Antalya there are some more innovative builds underway and it’s these which I’d like to concentrate on today.

Sources of inspiration

I think if I were a property developer in Antalya I’d turn to the Ottomans for inspiration. The old city in Antalya has some gorgeous examples of Ottoman housing which is often characterised by wooden beams and decorative window ledges and carefully crafted wooden door frames. What I can sum up as lovely, well crafted wooden add-ons. The shapes of the Ottoman buildings themselves are often not interesting, rectangular structures which can easily be replicated into modern flats. It’s those carefully styled add-ons that seem to make all the difference.

The wooden add-on structures of the old houses have however made it into many residential apartments where owners have built gorgeous wooden structures over their outdoor balconies. The wooden roof looks nice and its a sensible to create shade from the sun and protection from rain. Small upstairs gardens have also started to emerge beneath these structures, all neatly arranged in pots of course but still it’s these little bursts of inspiration which are helping to create an interesting view from the roof tops of Antalya.

However, what I find in Antalya is that many developers have turned their back on the history and like the politicians and business men are looking instead to Europe.

Although we don’t see Swiss chalets in the Taurus Mountains, German engineering has definitely made its way over here. The Turks respect efficiently and a good build. Italian columns are also quite popular, another feature that used to break up the concrete block and add decoration to the balcony. The Turkish don’t tend to go for modern Italian styles but the dated look which suggests that end of the line, discount prices really do matter at the end of the day.

The sea

The Turkish Riviera is the one thing that draws everyone to Antalya, the chance to enjoy those calm turquoise waters and bathe in the sun is everything for people here. Well that and the affordable house prices. So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that as a result of all this sea-watching the ocean liner and the yachts mast have captured the imaginations of some property developers. Many recent buildings have sought to model the smooth curvatures of the ocean liner, with the front bow reception area pointing out towards the harbor.

One new project in Antalya has taken the front bow concept to another level, placing an extended front bow on its designs along with a steely structure reminiscent of a great yachts mast. There are eight buildings all styled like luxury yatchs and everything about their shape and design is smooth and efficient, reasdy to cut through waves and storms and glide efficiently. The front decking found in the front garden area is reminiscent of a jetty and a massive, semi-circle swimming pool completes the water going scene.

The factory

What is it that we love so much about the factory? About industry? It must boil down to the massive metallic pipes, the steely architectural grids and grates which just give them an undeniable presence. The factory never blended in it always stood out, either with the sheer ugliness of its chimneys or the arresting beauty of metal and glass. Its the impact of the factory which I think makes it appealing to developers looking for a modern angle to their designs.

In hot climates like Antalya one of the biggest problems a building has is hiding its air-conditioning units. The factory design can accommodate this, build two columns and a space in between filled with racks suitable for holding air-conditioning boxes. Bridge the two columns over with a decorative frame to cover the entire center rack space. It’s the perfect way to hide dozens of unsightly plastic boxes away.

So what else make the modern factory flat so desirable? Massive beautiful windows, and big balconies with big sliding doors always have appeal. It’s the absence of window frames, door frames or porches and just the simple uninterrupted sheets of glass and solid concrete structures that give the factory style a desirable modern concept that some people look for. Oh, and just to make sure the building stands out it is often painted with stripes of bright colour, in Antalya orange and yellow seem to win the day.

The castle

Your home is your castle, and if you live in a flat which features a side turret then probably you will feel quite secure. The turret is clearly another technique for taking the edge off an otherwise rectangular structure but it does seem to work. The great advantage of the turret or mini tower is it provides a lovely upstairs balcony, beautifully round without depriving the main building of space. I’ve seen many rounded flats in Antalya and although their balconies are lovely they really cut into the front room and chop off several meters in living space. The mini-fortress has no such problems, it just works.

I know that some people visit Antalya and see it as a concrete jungle, and it’s true the area itself is becoming really over developed as construction company’s sign up every spare inch going. However, I don’t tend to see Antalya in this way. Many of the back streets are very quiet with nicely landscaped complexes and modern four level flats presented in a mix of colors. I often find myself scrutinizing the shapes and styles of buildings; maybe because they are more interesting to look at than rows of terraced houses, they are all nice attempts at modern affordable housing in the end of the day.


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