Kıbrıs’ta Bir Modern: Abdullah Onar, Konut Ve Modern Bir Yaşamın Tasarımı



In the colonial period, Cyprus experienced the phenomenon of modernization and modern architecture for the first time. In the postcolonial period, the modernist attitude in architectural atmosphere was maintained albeit any sort of ruptures. In the study, regarding the architectural milieu in the postcolonial period on the island, a partial view is presented through housing design and specifically Ertoğrul Güven house in Nicosia, designed by Turkish Cypriot architect Abdullah Onar. While projecting this atmosphere, the issues of dwelling and modernism are also pondered on throughout the text. Abdullah Onar is hardly discussed in the architectural historiography of the island. According to the archival research, Onar produced 640 projects throughout  his professional life, which are now situated at both South and North sides. Therefore, this practice makes Onar an important figure to urge upon in the architectural context of the period. Within the scope of this article, the housing projects in Ağırdağ and in his own village, Kaleburnu, are also mentioned. These projects can be seen as remarkable specimens for the critical approaches towards modern architecture, where he is assumed to build a modern life for his clients. In the following part, the dichotomy between  the modern and the local, and also the issue of place-identity are scrutinized through Ertoğrul Güven house. This part also allocates the criticisms about modern architecture in the postwar period. At this point, the most important concept is said to be situated modernism. In the text, the housing designs and especially Ertoğrul Güven house are discussed in the framework of situated modernism. But the main argument of the study is constituted on the idea that despite the changed context and meaning in the postcolonial period, modern architecture was questioned and  adapted to the local conditions in Cyprus by making the place identity visible. Abdullah Onar’s architectural practice accommodated the elements that are particular to the daily life and the culture of the island through a reconciliation with the modernist approach. In the end,  this makes him an indispensable figure, who shouldn’t be disregarded in the architectural historiography of Cyprus.

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