VOL: 7  NO: 1  38-53  2010-1


A public meeting point: “Sebil” of Nuruosmaniye



Nilüfer SAĞLAR ONAY, Ayşe Hilal UĞURLU

Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul TURKEY  


Received: November  2009  Final Acceptance: May 2010



During the Ottoman period “sebil” was the symbol of public possession and a mirror of the current architectural notion. Although they were modest and tiny structures many of them were used to create public meeting places and considered as landmarks because of their location and importance. Today they are either left to collapse or they are being used for purposes that contradict their original architectural identity. This study focuses on the restoration process of the Sebil of Nuruosmaniye which is renovated in order to be used for commercial purposes.  Maybe that saved it from collapse but it has lost its value as a public meeting point. As the spirit of Sebil embodies and supports the idea of common benefit and complimentary service, it is certainly important to increase its value by keeping this spirit and eliminating the attempts to use it for commercial purposes. In order to preserve our cultural values it is not always enough to preserve the architectural structures but also their original identities. Beside physical continuity, functional and semantic continuity needs to be considered as an important issue.


Keywords: Sebil, restoration process, westernization, public space, architectural identity



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