Adaptive Reuse Proposals for The Former Electricity Factory in İzmir (Turkey). Contemporary Interventional Approaches for The ‘City Factory Project’

  • Sergio Taddonio
  • Ebru N Karabağ Aydeniz
Keywords: industrial heritage, conservation, interventional design, adaptive reuse, education


In a fast-changing World, cultural heritage buildings fall frequently into a state of obsolescence and disuse. The reintegration of those structures within the disposable building stock requires ad-hoc refunctionalization strategies, usually based on a set of architectural interventions with contemporary approaches. However, new design for cultural heritage buildings and sites is a challenging task due to the complexity of relationships established with historical and contextual factors. Individual design problems contain unique conditions and require specific solutions. Therefore, interventional design studies have been ranked among the most crucial design research areas in architectural discourses. Accordingly, the importance of educational formats aiming at introducing, evaluating and simulating interventional design applications is rapidly increasing. The City Factory Project is a Design Studio experience challenging third graders to the identification of adaptive reuse proposals for the refunctionalization of the first power plant erected in Izmir in 1926. Aimed at increasing the awareness about the protection of cultural heritage, and to develop the ability to interfere with heritage buildings without diminishing its historical authenticity. The Studio preliminary introduced relevant issues related with conservation principles. The evaluation of iconic architectural interventions for industrial heritage buildings was then promoted with the aim of defining a set of relevant principles of contemporary design applications. Finally, Izmir Electricity Factory had been proposed as the case study of the course for a design exercise. Course outcomes were analyzed comparatively and evaluated within the framework of parameters related either to protection and transformation. This paper aims on the one hand at reporting a completed experience in design studio education in relation to how theoretical debates focusing on architectural design processes in the historical environment are promoted and interpreted by students; on the other hand, the paper aims at highlighting the crucial importance of conservation-based issues within architectural education curricula.