Musealisation as an Urban Process

Wed, Apr 24    6:30pm

Musealisation as an Urban Process: The Transformation of the Sultanahmet District in Istanbul’s Historic Peninsula

With culture becoming a leading policy for the regeneration historic cities, museums and heritage sites become key aspects of this regeneration. Given the increasing demands of cultural tourism, historic cities were subjected to substantial transformation that ranged from the systematic reuse of historic buildings as museums to urban projects promoting culturally based activities. Consequently, the very notion of a museum also expanded from the boundaries of an individual building to include wider topographical areas. This presentation discusses how the museum concept expands from the boundaries of a single building into the historic city itself. Defining this expansion as musealisation, it analyses and evaluates the contribution of musealisation in the transformation of Sultanahmet district, which, as the public face of Istanbul’s historic peninsula, has been the major focus of planning, conservation and museological studies in Turkey from the 19th century until the present day.

Pinar Aykac holds a PhD from UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture. She received her bachelor’s degree in architecture and her MSc in conservation of cultural heritage from the Middle East Technical University, where she worked as a research and teaching assistant. Her research interests are museums’ role in urban regeneration, heritage politics, urban archaeology and presentation of multi-layered historic cities. She was involved in various conservation projects including Presidential Ataturk Museum Pavilion Restoration Project, Gordion Management Plan Project and Commagene Nemrut Conservation and Development Programme. She is currently teaching in the Department of Architecture at the Middle East Technical University.

Free and open to the public.

Organized as part of the Preservation Lecture Series, an initiative of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia GSAPP.

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