Chamber Talks

The Long-Forgotten Fantastic World of Architect Nazimî Yaver
Büke Uras


17 December 2015 / 18:30 Geçmiş Aktivite

Remembering Nazimî Yaver Yenal (1904-1987), one of the long-forgotten actors of 20th-century Turkish architecture, was made possible through the discovery of an archive comprised of 255 architectural drawings. Despite the bright onset of his career, not only as a prolific designer, but an educator as well, and the copious amounts of drawings reflecting his designs oscillating between tradition and modernism, almost none of Nazimî Yaver’s projects have been brought to life.

His avant-garde drawings, which remain mainly on paper, make Nazimî Yaver the most notable “paper architect” of the architecture of the Constitutional Era. Detached from the objective of implementation and attaining an independent character of its own, Nazimî Yaver’s fantastical world of drawing has the potential to have as much an impact on contemporary architecture as other examples sharing a similar fate did, such as the Italian Futurists, Russian Constructivists, and British Utopia architects.

Trained in Classicism and Eclecticism, most notably under his professor Giulio Mongeri at the Academy of Fine Arts, Nazimî Yaver graduated valedictorian in 1926. He gained work experience at Mongeri’s office of architecture, where he began to work as of his student years. He earned first place at the 1927-28 Academy of Fine Arts’ European architecture competition and was sent to Paris. In 1931, he relocated to Berlin, where began working with Hans Poelzig, one of the iconic names of German Modernism, and produced bold and modernist works.

Any attempt to visually and philosophically define the extraordinarily fantastic architecture of Nazimî Yaver through the rich archives brought to light years later, and to understand the intent behind their creation will provide an important, albeit belated, contribution to the architectural culture of İstanbul.

Free of admissions; drop in.