Effects of Functional Change on Historical Houses: The example of "Alsancak Levantine Houses"
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Social change brings with it new human needs and activities, and in every era humans create and recreate spaces, and hence structures, according to these needs and activities. This means that structures, and their parts, need to undergo change in terms of space and function to adapt to different functionalities and conditions. One understanding of preservation is based on the idea that with a change in function, historical structures which have outlived their original purpose are given new life and once again are made part of the urban landscape. Instances of functional change are most often seen in monumental and historical industrial structures, and in the examples of civil architecture remaining in areas set aside for housing settlements as a result of rapid urbanization. It is important, however, that any functional change made to a historical structure serves to protect the architectural value, meaning and memory of the structure. Alsancak is home to a large number of historical Levantine houses, many of which, following rapid urbanization in the 1970s, have had to change their function to that of bar or cafe. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the re-functioning on these houses in Alsancak, and to make some recommendations on both the processes involved in re-functioning, and on the current legal regulations governing these processes with a view to ameliorating the negative effects of re-functioning on such structures.