Ankara (1929-35)- Theoretical Influences & Planning Principles- Part 4: Hermann Jansen’s Design Principles & Implementation on Ankara’s Initial Master Planning (2)
Continue with the previous discussion, this section will mainly focus on the Jansen’s Design Principles on Public Space Design, and Mechanism of individual Districts in Ankara initial planning
Public Space Design/ Communal Life in the City
• A healthy urban environment was secured through green areas, sports grounds, playgrounds for children, parks and recreational areas
Given Jansen’s emphasize on the creating urban life of workers as well as other groups in the society. Hence, different communal facilities have been placed among different zones. Through the distribution of facilities, there is a hierarchy in Jansen’s planning, where districts of higher social group, like new town residential zones and country house zones, enjoyed more facilities than workers’ residential area and hence better quality of communal life.
Noted that communal facilities have been placed center surrounded by 18 residential zones at south, it has shown strong ref to Howards’ garden city model, which central park has been replaced by facilities, serving the purpose of creating activated neighborhood.
• It is compulsory to integrate green areas with the city for a healthy and modern urban environment;
Introduced as one of Jansen’s vision to promote formation of community, initial planning of Ankara’s new residential areas, no matter its streetscape design, geometries of housing clusters and connection to communal space, have deeply influenced by the garden city movement and greenery has been significant element to connect and draw residents’ interaction. Hence, large portion of green belt has been embedded into the residential parts, encouraging an accessible community to nature.
• A stadium and concourses should be built” (Cengizkan, 2004, 105).
In consideration of communal space in a higher resolution, Jansen has given a few proposals on how the stadium and concourses should be built, which followed Sitte’s ‘enclose’ ideology. Scale of these project were carefully managed, with unified surroundings and free access to the central axis of the square to contain limited amount of people to fully comprehend the space.
Mechanism of individual Districts
• Residential areas were divided into 18 sections (Siedlungs) and different development patterns were introduced for each
Instead of garden city rigid geometry, provide identical sectors of residential units, in Jansen’s planning, residential areas are divided into 18 sections with different development pattern. Districts with various unit prototype combinations have been proposed to cater different types of family. This has shown Jansen’s adaptive implantation of theories and concern to provide better community.
• Houses were designed as either detached or attached and each house had front and rear gardens
From the unit proposal from Jansen’s unit typology proposal, variety of units of different size, ranging from individual houses to workers’ flats, has been provided. Throughout these proposals, green elements, integrated into the unit or shared by common green space with variation of street wide, has been a significant feature. This design proposal has reflected Jansen’s design intention of community formation by drawing people to enjoy communal space.
• The location of industrial areas was determined according to transport availability (mainly railway transport) and the dominant wind
Given the typographic and transportation condition, industrial area has been placed on the west side of Ankara. Although it was a logical deduction of the physical constraints, worker class has been placed at the fragile of Ankara, isolating them from enjoying public space and facilities provided.
• A commercial area was not included in the plan, rather the existing city center was considered as the traditional commercial center, which would continue to function as before
In traditional modernist planning, commercial area was usually considered as an opportunity for the city to make a new statement of development through modern architecture. In Jansen’s idea, however, keeping the old town as traditional commercial, on one hand, has shown his respectful attitude toward Turkey history, preventing existing urban fiber, but on the other has limited major economic activities in the original unplanned districts.
• Green belts were introduced connecting the old and the new city, which created traffic free routes for pedestrians”
Despite Jansen’s strong intention to preserve the historical old town and distinguish new urban fabric, they were not brutally emerged into one another. Instead, greenbelt has been a walk-able buffering zone, blurring the boundary of the two zones, with facilities for citizen to enjoy and stay.
To conclude, from the above discussion on Public Space Design, and Mechanism of individual Districts in Ankara initial planning, it illustrated Jansen’s adaptive implementation of urban theories to Turkey as a newly-formed nation, with a vision to not only construct more efficient city and a better communal life for people, but maintain the tradition and historical value of Turkey in the process of modernization.
Camillo Sitte, ‘City Planning According to Artistic Principles’, 1889
CENGİZKAN, A. Modernin Saati: 20. Yüzyılda Modernleşme ve Demokratikleşme Pratiğinde Mimarlar, Kamusal Mekân ve Konut Mimarlığı [The Hour of the Modern: Architects, Public Space and Housing in Modernization and Democratization Practices of the Twentieth Century] Mimarlar Derneği and Boyut Yayın Grubu, Ankara, 2002
Duygu SABAN ÖKESLİ, ‘HERMANN JANSEN’S PLANNING PRINCIPLES AND HIS URBAN LEGACY IN ADANA’, METU JFA, Volume 2, 2009
Ebenezer Howard, Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform,1898
Ebenezer Howard, Garden Cities of Tomorrow, 1902
Theodor Fritsch, Die Stadt der Zukunft (The City of the Future), 1887
Lawrence J. Vale, Architecture, Power and National Identity, Yale University Press, 2008