Monday, July 15, 2024

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Contemporary Architecture with Simin, ⅠⅠⅠ

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Hello everyone,

In this article, I will share our sadness and regrets after the earthquake with a magnitude of 7,7 in Kahramanmaraş on February 6, 2023, which dragged 10 cities around it into this earthquake. This earthquake, which was experienced and still felt, destroyed our history as much as it destroyed our lives. Historical
Parliament Building, Habib-i Neccar Mosque, historical markets, neighborhoods, museums and churches are some of the historical places we lost.

As an architect, I am ashamed of the precautions that were not taken and the false construction as much as I am sorry for such a great financial and moral loss. With our hands tied, we had to watch our history and the lives of all precious creatures destroyed by a false construction industry ambition. As Turkey, we have experienced similar severe earthquakes in the past and faced similar destructions. This situation we encountered after the earthquake is a proof that the construction sector, which did not learn from the mistakes made and the lives lost, continues to implement its mistakes. As an architect living in a country whose economy is based on the construction sector, I would like to express my shame on behalf of my colleagues in the face of this situation again and again…

I think we should question why we are facing the most brutal consequences when earthquake disasters do not occur only in our country and fault lines are not only located in this geography. One of the reasons we have experienced such losses is that when we look at other examples in the world and in Europe, we could not implement even one percent of the decisions taken and implemented before and after such earthquakes.

The structures in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai and Jakarta regions, which have a stronger earthquake effect than ours, were built under seismic design and engineering conditions, predicting what the ground on which they are built will experience. These structures are designed with base insulation, lightweight construction materials and reinforced foundations. The earthquakes that occurred after these measures cannot turn cities built on
labor and lives into garbage with a shock in one minute. These examples are called the ‘resilience movement’ in the design industry. This movement aims to realize the building design in a sustainable and resistant way against natural disasters.

We are in a situation that is completely opposite to these examples. The buildings destroyed in the Kahramanmaraş earthquake are defined as ‘pancake collapse’ by professors. This happens when walls and floors aren’t bonded together well enough. Each floor collapses as a concrete pile to the one below without leaving any gaps between them. This statement is responsible for the wreckage we have encountered and the lives we have lost and are trying to save.

It is our duty to correct this painful situation we are in and replace it with a safer future. In this regard, I would like to touch on the new cities and structures established after the earthquakes experienced in this way in Europe.

Lisbon suffered severe destruction with the earthquake of 1755. After the earthquake, the president of that period played a big role in the rebuilding of the city. Taking lessons from the destruction, a new development plan was designed by architects and engineers. After this development plan implemented, it was considered the best of the 18th century in the implementation of architectural design and construction rules in Europe.

Another example is that after an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 in Perugia, Italy, that destroyed historical Italian cities, the Italian prime minister asked the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano to re-plan and renovate these demolished centers. And, on this issue, the state worked together with architects and engineers.

We need to start the recovery process by coming together and supporting each other after this terrible destruction we have experienced and the lives we have lost. The reason why I have included these examples in my article is that I want you to know that there is a light of hope in the face of the helplessness we feel by showing you how the destruction we are currently in has experienced in other places before and how they recovered after this situation.

I wish all living creatures affected by the earthquake to get well soon. I am with them with all my heart.

Simin Pakakar
Co-founder of Kanopi Architecture
Istanbul, Türkiye
Instagram: @kanopimimarlik

Image References:

https://www.haberler.com/haberler/malatya-yeni-cami-yikildi-mi-hangi-cami- yikildi-15610391-haberi/

https://www.gzt.com/mecra/antakyadaki-14-asirlik-habib-i-neccar-camii- depreme-yenik-dustu-3712032

https://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/Archive/2023/2/10/102513427-aw82536305.jpg

https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/57c5/b0e5/e58e/ce7c/6d00/0239/slid eshow/29291259446_54d07a758d_o.jpg?1472573660

https://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/yasam/galeri-kahramanmaras-merkezli-depremin-kirilan-fay-hatti-goruntuleri-2050446#photo-2

Image © flickr user IFRC. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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