Vol. 1 No. 1 (2004): Housing Policy

The row house as an unfinished project of the modernization of Istanbul at the end of the 19th Century

Atilla Yücel
Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul, TURKEY

Published 2004-06-01


  • Row house,
  • Modernization,
  • 19th century

How to Cite

Yücel, A. (2004). The row house as an unfinished project of the modernization of Istanbul at the end of the 19th Century. A|Z ITU JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE, 1(1), 95 - 107. Retrieved from https://www.az.itu.edu.tr/index.php/jfa/article/view/529


The row house is a housing type that existed among the settlement patterns of different societies, its history extending to the pre-industrialised period. In addition to the older examples, during the modern period and specifically after industrialisation, the row house had achieved a privileged status in most western cities as a house of the tradesman, worker, and in general of the middle class. The Ottoman modernisation project shaped by the westernisation model, has also “imported” new housing patterns and typologies during the reformation of cities, adaptable to those new systems that encompassed the ownership system, changes in administration of cities, modernisation of roads and transportation systems. The row house has become the leading figure among those new types, and opened the way for the apartment type housing that is to follow. This middle-class urban housing type that developed on the improved lands, planned building islands, and small lots of Istanbul after the mid 19th century, preserved its existence until the beginning of the 20th century. Yet, after the 1st World War, following the declaration of Ankara as the capital city and with the more recent urban modernisation development of Istanbul, after the 1950’s, the life span of the row house was finalised.