Workshop on Architectural Heritage Today: Workshop on Suleymaniye Area and Mostar 2004 Second Workshop, organised by IRCICA, Yıldız Technical University, and the Metropolitan Municipality of Greater Istanbul, Istanbul, 3 July-18 August 1995

The workshop program titled Architectural Heritage Today was organised by IRCICA with the cooperation of the Metropolitan Municipality of Greater Istanbul, with institutional support from around the world. 158 architects and professionals participated in the workshop, from thirty-nine universities in nineteen countries. The workshop took place from 1st July-18 August 1995, at IRCICA, as well as at the Yıldız Technical University (Istanbul) and other universities. It was held in two stages comprising sixty-four lectures and 156 hours of studio work in total. The first stage was on the restoration and preservation of Istanbul and the Süleymaniye Area (1st-27 July 1995); the second stage (24 July-18 August 1995) was the second pilot workshop Mostar 2004.

The workshop series aim to deploy and coordinate an international academic effort to support future reconstruction and urban preservation activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The broad objectives of the project are: to preserve the thousand-year old architectural heritage of multicultural Bosnia and Herzegovina; to develop an integrated process of urban preservation for Bosnia and Herzegovina through the formation of a practical system of education; and, to establish an international network of prominent schools and cultural organizations for urban preservation to assist and support the reconstruction. For this purpose, the participants draw restoration plans and methodological guidelines for reconstruction, towards the ultimate and symbolic goal of meeting around fully restored Old Bridge of Mostar in the year 2004. The first workshop Mostar 2004, beginning of the series, had taken place from 15 July to 15 August 1994 in Istanbul. Thirty-nine lecturers and thirty-two senior architectural students from 25 universities in 22 countries attended the workshop, together with a core group from Bosnia and Herzegovina itself.

In accordance with the above objectives, the 1995 workshop program aimed to help promote the academic and technical study of the Islamic cultural heritage in Istanbul and in Mostar, two cities historically and culturally linked to each other. In his address to the opening ceremony of the workshop held at the Metropolitan Municipality on 1st July 1995, IRCICA Director General Prof.Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu stated that in addition to their usefulness for the promotion of academic and technical studies, these workshops also carry a special importance because of the historical and architectural characteristics of the areas they deal with. He underlined that the participation and contributions of the Metropolitan Municipality of Greater Istanbul to an architectural program of such significance is an example of the importance that they are giving to the preservation of the cultural heritage. The Director General expressed his gratitude to the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Greater Istanbul Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Secretary General Dr. Kahraman Emmioğlu, advisors to the Mayor Mr. Ali Yılmaz Örnek and Architect Mr. İsmet Şahin and other officials of the Municipality who contributed to the realisation of this project. He expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Yıldız Technical University, all international organisations, universities and cultural institutions, and particularly the participants, The Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Greater Istanbul Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered an address emphasizing the importance of the workshop program organised jointly with IRCICA for protecting the historical identity of Istanbul. He said that this city is a miniature of Turkey and that its historical character is known all over the world. He declared that the Municipality is making efforts to restore its historical and cultural features and that the Süleymaniye and Eyüp projects were developed with this aim. The workshop on Süleymaniye was, he said, one important step taken in this direction. The Mayor also expressed the hope that the workshop program on Süleymaniye sets an example in Istanbul and in the country on a larger scale. He thanked all participants for their contributions to the realisation of the project.

The district of Süleymaniye is a historical area located on third hill of the seven hills of İstanbul, where important architectural monuments built in the glorious period of the Ottoman State are found. With the construction by Mimar Sinan of the Süleymaniye Complex in the 16th century, this area became a centre of culture and education and increased the aesthetical beauty of the Golden Horn panorama. Around the mosque, Mimar Sinan also built a primary school, a Quranic school, four medreses, a Hadith school, a medical School, a hospital, a public kitchen, a guest-house and a public bath. Religious, cultural and educational activities were carried out here for centuries with a spirit of social solidarity. The architecture of the area was enriched with palaces and kiosks built by Mimar Sinan. However, later, the population of Istanbul increased fast and this area gradually became a commercial quarter. The opening of Süleymaniye area to commerce required that new roads be built and some buildings be demolished for this purpose. Hence the aestethical and architectural characteristics of this area weakened with time. From there comes the need to deploy efforts to restore the architecture of Süleymaniye and preserve its qualities of a centre of culture.

The first part of the 1995 workshop was devoted to the development of guidelines and suggestion of measures for the protection and restoration of the Süleymaniye area. For this purpose, a pilot project was carried out on the spot. As to the second part of the workshop, it drew plans and made recommendations for the restoration of the architectural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the outcome of the workshop architectural plans and models were suggested to help the restoration of Mostar and especially the Old Town, whose architecture reflects the centuries of peaceful coexistence of people with different beliefs living in common neighborhoods with their mosques, churches or synagogues. In addition, the workshop participants also focused on the proposed international multidisciplinary program for the urban preservation of Bosnia and Herzegovina which will involve the attention and participation of an international community of architects, educators, historians, and students together with their Bosnian counterparts.

Statistics on the Architectural Heritage Program 1995
Number of participants: 158
Universities represented: 39
(Yale, Harvard, MIT, Temple, Georgia Institute of Technology, Columbia, University Nansy, Cheljabinsk, Samarkand, Aahen, La Sapienza Rome, Ferrara, METU, YTU, Boğaziçi, Mimar Sinan, Istanbul Technical U, Istanbul U, Ecole d’Architecture Paris-Belleville, Selçuk U., Balangor, Kaiserslautern, Drexer, Univ. Skopje, Cambridge, Zagreb, Vienna, Sarajevo, Mostar, Marmara, York, Trondheim, Prague, Damascus, Amman, Dawood College Karachi, University of Toronto, University of Torino, City College of New York, Pratt Institute New York)
Countries represented: 19
(Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Jordan, Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan)
Working days: 44
Number of lectures: 64
Studio hours: 156
Field trips: 4 (Bursa, Konya, Edirne, Safranbolu)

Report of the workshop was published under the title Architectural Heritage Today: Istanbul-Süleymaniye & Mostar 2004.