Migrating Spaces in SALT / Istanbul 17.6. – 31.7.2016

Home » Exhibitions » Migrating Spaces in SALT / Istanbul

Migrating Spaces: Architecture and Identity in the Context of Turkish Migration

“For me the importance of hybridity is not to be able to trace two original moments from which the third emerges, rather hybridity to me is the ‘third space’ which enables other positions to emerge.” Homi Bhabha*

When people move, so do spaces, along with images, cultural practices and lifestyles. Migrating Spaces examines the common elements of domestic architecture in Germany that are integrated into homes built by former guest workers upon their “definitive return” to Turkey. The study questions how cultural experiences and memories define complex identities within the built environment. Examining closely homes that were designed and often built by the owners themselves, the exhibition aims to establish a typology of architecture of these various socio-spatial implementations. Details in the build of these homes often express expectations about future life in Turkey, impressions from a past spent in Germany, and also translate personal memories from childhood years.

Artist Stefanie Bürkle, with her team and students at the Institute for Architecture at TU Berlin, has cataloged and documented 132 cases of houses and apartments built or renovated by migrants returning to Turkey. The study led to the identification of three main types of residence: “model house,” “two-faced house” and “multi-layer house.” The study suggests that a “model house” stems from a fixed and complete image of an ideal North European house, a “two-faced house” combines two equal sections of domestic architecture from Germany and local architecture from Turkey, while a “multi-layer house” is a work in progress, whereby a long-term construction sees the owner slowly adding on to the core units in a variety of styles and materials.

to top